The Metropolitan Community Churches of South Africa (MCC) has slammed a fundamentalist Christian campaign against the City of Cape Town’s support of MCQP.

In a statement published today in the Cape Argus, MCC said that it was dismayed by the recent crusade by the Family Policy Institute, its homophobic director Errol Naidoo, and His People Church against homosexuality.

It noted that their interpretation of “the scripture, Christian values and to what is referred to as ‘the Truth’, are not universal for all Christians. They are the interpretations of the Family Policy Institute and His People Church”.

MCC added: “It is well within their rights to raise issues based on their beliefs as a religious organisation; however this does not justify discrimination, name calling and attempts to undermine the dignity of people with a different belief and understanding.”

Naidoo attacked the City of Cape Town and its tourism body for “using rate-payers money to actively promote sexual perversion” by supporting the annual Mother City Queer Project (MCQP) party and described homosexuality as “evil”.

MCQP, which takes place this Saturday, is a predominantly gay costume party that attracts local and international visitors to Cape Town and is reported to have brought in R26 million to the city in 2009.

The MCC went on to list a number points outlining its position on Naidoo’s campaign and anti-gay Christian fundamentalism:

  • Faith and interpretation of the scriptures cannot be dictated or forced onto others. The mere existence of different denominations and churches within the Christian faith proves this.

  • History shows that biblical scriptures have been abused for a long time and should not be taken out of context. Biblical scriptures have been used to justify slavery, the oppression of women, segregation of races and genocide.
  • We firmly believe that all rights granted within the constitution cannot be viewed in isolation. Human rights are indivisible. The right to religious freedom cannot supersede the right to non-discrimination based on other grounds, such as ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation.
  • We fail to understand how the sexual orientation of any person, whether heterosexual, bi-sexual, homosexual or a-sexual, would infringe on and threaten family values. The right of any two people in this country, irrespective of sexual orientation, to form a Civil Union does not infringe on the rights of another couple or family.
  • There are many definitions of family and any union between two people – with or without children – deserves acknowledgement and protection under the law. Adoption of children should be undertaken in the best interest of the child and the ability of the parents to love, care and provide for their child.
  • To attach negative attributes to sexual orientation is polemic and wrong. Homosexuality is not the cause of HIV, neither is homosexuality associated with child abuse. Equally wrong would be statements like ‘heterosexuality causes rape’ and ‘children out of a heterosexual family are more prone to become mass murderers and dictators’.

MCC commended the City of Cape Town and Cape Town Tourism for promoting the city “as a place that embraces diversity in all its forms”.

It also said that it would seek legal relief “should religious freedom be used as a vehicle to deliver hate speech, which often results in aggression and violence”.

The Metropolitan Community Churches’ LGBT-friendly ministry consists of over 250 churches in 22 countries worldwide.

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