Mr. Gay South Africa™, which holds the annual gay ambassador contest, and the newly formed GLBTI Party have agreed to join forces to fight a common enemy: violence and discrimination against LGBTI people.

They have invited all organisations, gay or straight, who support this common goal to join their common purpose.

The two organisations said in a statement that they have agreed that they may differ in political outlook, but share the same goals and will support each other in these endeavours.

“No longer can we sit back and watch as the community divides itself further in this crucial time of need,” said Nicholas Gregory, the leader of the GBLTI party. “We need to set aside our differences and put our foot firmly down [against] the atrocious hate crimes that affect us all as the LGBTI community. We urgently call all organisations and individuals to take a stand and use all means possible to combat these horrific crimes.”

Coenie Kukkuk, spokesperson for Mr. GSA commented: “I am satisfied that the differences have been ironed out and that we can move forward. Our people are dying at the hands of murderers and we cannot afford to let diversions let us lose track of what is really important.”

In their joint statement, the two organisations urged the Hate Crimes Task Force, set up by government, to actively strive to implement its objectives, that the SAPS be properly informed and sensitised towards hate crimes against LGBTI people, that hate crimes legislation be enacted and that government itself issue a statement denouncing violence against LGBTI people, and lesbians in the townships in particular.

In the past few weeks, six murders of LGBTI people have been reported as well as numerous assaults and threats. This carnage must stop, the organisations said.

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