Silent protest at church over ho­mo­pho­bic views

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - NOR­MAN CLOETE

A WOMAN, who calls her­self “a con­cerned cit­i­zen”, started a silent protest against a ser­vice cel­e­brat­ing the 25th an­niver­sary of the Sho­far Church in Stel­len­bosch to­mor­row.

Saya Pierce- Jones said she is op­posed to the “ho­mo­pho­bic” views of its founder, An­gus Buchan.

The church ad­ver­tised the cel­e­bra­tion ser­vice which will be held at Coet­zen­burg Cen­tre, at 6pm, on its web­site and so­cial me­dia.

En­try to the cel­e­bra­tion ser­vice is free but at­ten­dees had to re­serve seats via e-mail.

Pierce- Jones and her friends re­served seats but have no in­ten­tion of at­tend­ing the event.

She told Week­end Ar­gus that the idea be­hind the “silent protest” is that many seats would be empty and this would “in­di­cate to Buchan that many peo­ple also do not agree with his views”.

“This man, as a re­li­gious leader, has been known to per­pet­u­ate ho­mo­pho­bic sen­ti­ments to his fol­low­ers that sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion and al­ter­na­tive sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion is some­thing that he does not agree with.

“Not just in Cape Town, but in the Western Cape, count­less ex­am­ples of hu­man rights vi­o­la­tions, hate crimes against per­sons of dif­fer­ent sex­ual ori­en­ta­tions and dif­fer­ent gen­der iden­ti­ties have oc­curred,” she said.

Pierce-Jones said she does not be­lieve that “it’s okay for us to al­low a man this great plat­form to per­pet­u­ate sen­ti­ments that are then fil­tered down into com­mu­ni­ties and give peo­ple a sense of jus­ti­fi­ca­tion in then at­tack­ing some­one based on their sex, at­tack­ing some­one based on their gen­der”.

Buchan, in turn, re­sponded that the ser­vice is solely to cel­e­brate the an­niver­sary of the church and that they are ex­pect­ing 5 000 peo­ple.

Buchan was also not aware of any protests against the ser­vice.

None of the les­bian, gay, bi­sex­ual, trans­gen­der, queer, ques­tion­ing and in­ter­sex or­gan­i­sa­tions con­tacted by Week­end Ar­gus knew about the “silent protest”.

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