Cape Town: Religious queerphobes take down Cathedral Pride flag


A video captured the brazen act of religious queerphobia in Cape Town

A group of self-proclaimed Christians illegally removed the Pride flag flying outside Cape Town’s renowned St. George’s Cathedral, justifying their actions by claiming that the church is “infested.”

MambaOnline received a video capturing the act of vandalism, which involved at least three young men, possibly accompanied by a young woman.

The individuals boldly filmed themselves lowering and removing the rainbow flag from the cathedral’s flagpole in broad daylight late last month.

When a concerned passerby is heard asking why they are taking the flag, one of the vandals responds, “Because it’s a place of worship.”

Brazen Act of Religious Bigotry

Addressing the camera, one of the young men justifies, “We don’t have any problem with the LGBTQ community but as soon as you integrate it with the churches in South Africa and especially our cathedral church here, which is a huge monument in Cape Town, it starts to become a problem.”

He continues: “What you’re doing is you’re allowing this church to not become a holy place anymore. It’s become infested… you put in a Pride flag which is one of the deadly sins in a place of worship and God… it is such a dishonour.”

Another participant exclaims, “It’s outrageous,” while a third questions, “What do we stand for as Christians?”

Although the video was initially shared on social media, it was later removed.

Response from St. George’s Cathedral

In a statement on its Facebook page, St George’s Cathedral said a cathedral staff member was able to take back the flag from the young men thanks to the intervention of learners from St. Cyprian’s Girls School.

The cathedral referred to the group as “delinquents” and their actions as “confident aggression.”

The statement disclosed that the cathedral has over the past few week received numerous negative phone calls for displaying the Pride flag, a tradition dating back to the mid-1990s

“The callers expressed their outrage against this symbol of solidarity with those members of our society who are not fully accepted at the table of fellowship and love,” said the church.

St. George’s Cathedral invoked the words of the late Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the beloved former Archbishop of Cape Town, who famously declared, “I would refuse to go to a homophobic heaven” and “I would not worship a God who is homophobic…”

The church confirmed that it had reported the matter to the police, providing photographs of the individuals involved in the incident.

The incident is another concerning instance of shameless public bigotry against the LGBTIQ+ community in recent months. In July and August, signs condemning LGBTIQ+ individuals as a danger to children were erected outside stores in Gqeberha in the Eastern Cape.

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