A local newspaper in the Eastern Cape has refused to promote the first ever Nelson Mandela Bay Pride, saying that the event is “directly acting against God’s Holy Word”.

Christina Engela, director of the Eastern Cape Gay & Lesbian Association and one of the organisers of the event, received an e-mail from the un-named publisher of the Jeffrey’s Bay based EC Mirror, insisting that she “not send us anything to do with Pride”.

“As far as I understand it, Pride is an organization which promotes and sympathises with the cause of Homosexuals,” said the publisher.

“However, practising homosexuals are acting directly acting against God’s Holy Word as laid down in the Bible. So although we are not judging practising homosexuals, (God is the only judge of all our actions) we wish to try and live in accordance with God’s principles.”

The publisher added: “Therefore we will not be promoting this kind of function at all.”

Engela said that although she’s been “pleasantly surprised to note that there have been no negative encounters, nasty letters in the press, and no hate mail specific to the Pride event…there always has to be one bad apple in the basket.”

In an e-mail replying to the EC Mirror, she wrote: “Your remarks demonstrate to me clear opposition to the human rights values enshrined in the SA Constitution, as well as a lack of compassion, ubuntu, common decency – and good manners.

“…in my opinion, your hypocrisy and piety are an embarrassment to people of your faith who do good for others and try to make the world a better place, instead of breaking down those who do. If I were still a Christian I would be ashamed for your part,” she said.

Mambaonline was able to contact the owner and publisher of the EC Mirror.

He confirmed that he had sent Pride organisers the e-mail and that he had decided not to promote the event, but refused to divulge his name, saying that he didn’t want to be part of a media storm.

“We don’t want to promote the event. We’re not judging or condemning anybody. We would just rather not promote it,” he said.

When asked if his publication was a Christian one, he replied, “No, we try to bring out the good news in society. But we do promote Christian values and the word of God, without hitting anyone over the head with it.”

He said that the EC Mirror is distributed free of charge throughout the Eastern Cape but then refused to reveal its readership or to answer any more questions on the matter.

“I don’t know who you are so I’ll exercise my right not to make any further comment,” he said.

The Nelson Mandela Bay Pride parade takes place on Saturday 24th September, under the theme of ‘Born this Way’.

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