The Freedom Front Plus (FF+) says it won’t condemn gays and lesbians, despite posting anti-gay comments on social media ahead of next month’s local elections.
On Sunday, the party’s Rustenburg Facebook page posted a link to a January 2012 Mambaonline article about a DA Student Organisation (DASO) poster campaign that featured an interracial heterosexual couple that was then adapted to an interracial gay couple.
Along with the link, the post included the comment in Afrikaans: “It is clear from this photo and article that the DA is promoting promiscuity among the youth. DASO (DA and their student organisation). Can you associate yourself with this party?”
The implication is that homosexuality and interracial relationships are inherently promiscuous and immoral. The post is now no longer visible on the page.
Mambaonline spoke to FF+ North West Leader Dr Pieter Groenewald, who distanced the party from the sentiments expressed and confirmed that he had the post taken down.
“The moment I was aware of it I gave the order to remove it,” he said, explaining that “in an election a lot of candidates are running and they were not supposed to put it on. They contravened our policy and I have spoken to them.”
On the matter of interracial relationships, Groenewald said the party had no policy on the matter. “That is an individual choice. The DA is promoting this as the future and it is up to the people and the electorate to make a decision on it.”
With regard to the party’s position on lesbian and gay people, Groenewald said that while the FF+ does not support same-sex marriage or unions, because “we are a Christian Party,” it “does not condemn gays and lesbians”. He added: “That would be unchristian.”
When asked if the party’s focus on protecting minority rights in South Africa includes the gay and lesbian community, Groenewald indicated that was not currently the case.
“It for them to come knock on our door and ask us, ‘we also want you to protect our minority rights,’ but they have to understand that won’t include same-sex marriages.
“Different minorities have different issues – and it’s not necessarily that you will agree with each issue of every minority,” said Groenewald.
The Freedom Front Plus voted against legalising same-sex marriage in 2006. The party also blocked a motion for Parliament to congratulate South Africa’s Francois Nel after he won Mr Gay World in 2011.