KwaZulu-Natal resort denies it singles out gay and lesbian groups
A KwaZulu-Natal holiday resort says that a rule requiring that “same-sex groups” be “screened” before their bookings are accepted has been misunderstood.
The Mtwalumi Holiday Resort’s policy caused concern on social media after it was circulated online. In the Responsible Behaviour section of the resort’s rules and regulations document, point 5 states that “All same-sex groups are first to be approved by the rental committee before booking is accepted.”
Some social media users understood the rule to be referring to groups of gay men or gay women and interpreted the policy as discriminatory towards the LGBTQIA+ community.
When contacted, Mtwalumi’s director, Craig Anderson, said the policy had been misunderstood. Anderson insisted that the policy was “not in any way directed against the LGBTQIA+ community who are welcome to stay in our resort subject to the rules as applicable to all guests.”
Can you believe this disgusting behaviour still exists?!!! Look at Rule 5 of the Mtwalume Holiday Resort. Blatantly homophobic! A friend sent me this today! Resorts like this should be closed!! @BiancavanWyk16 @TourismKZN #gayrights #homophobie pic.twitter.com/hEEfR4nCQK
— Sharon Peetz (@SharonPeetz) April 23, 2023
He clarified that the use of the term “same-sex” did not refer to members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and instead referred to any large group of men or women, regardless of sexual orientation.
“Following several unacceptable incidents perpetuated by large groups of men and women visiting the resort as ‘same-sex’ groups, we were forced to initiate measures to mitigate the problem,” he said.
Anderson urged that rule 5 be read together with rule 4 – “No ‘Bull’s’ or ‘Hen’s’ parties will be permitted” – as those activities were the ones that “created the most unsavoury incidents.” Anderson stated that the rental committee would review all bookings of large groups to ensure that each application was dealt with on its merits.
“A group of senior citizens celebrating an event and a group of bikers holding a rally are obviously viewed differently,” he said.
Anderson said the definition only applied to groups with more than four individuals, and there is no screening of “same-sex” groups of guests numbering four or less. He emphasised that the resort welcomed guests from all communities, subject to the rules applicable to all guests.
Anderson apologised “for the misconception created by the ‘same sex’ connotation” and promised that “the wording of rule 5 will be reviewed in an attempt to articulate the message without being offensive.”
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