Cleric fights about-turn on same-sex mar­riage

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - NEWS - LUKE FOLB

REVEREND Laurie Gaum will chal­lenge the Dutch Re­formed Church in the Pre­to­ria High Court af­ter the church re­canted on it’s 2015 de­ci­sion to ap­prove same-sex unions.

The church coun­cil re­versed its de­ci­sion a year later and de­nounced same-sex unions.

Gaum, with the sup­port of his fa­ther Frits Gaum, are ask­ing the court to over­turn the church’s de­ci­sion.

The mat­ter is set to be heard on Tues­day when the court is to de­cide whether the church’s de­ci­sion to re­verse its ap­proval is con­sis­tent with its con­sti­tu­tion and that of South Africa’s.

Since the Civil Union Act came into be­ing in Novem­ber 2006, same-sex mar­riage has been le­gal in South Africa and in Oc­to­ber 2015, a ma­jor­ity of the Dutch Re­formed Church’s synod voted in favour of al­low­ing ho­mo­sex­ual min­is­ters to join the church and recog­nised the sta­tuses of civil unions be­tween peo­ple of the same sex that are “char­ac­terised by love and fi­delity”.

Gaum’s lawyers will ar­gue that the de­ci­sion-mak­ing process by the church had been “flawed” and that the synod had im­posed its re­li­gious be­liefs on oth­ers.

The church, in pa­pers filed at court, said the 2016 de­ci­sion was a “law­ful, demo­cratic de­ci­sion, care­fully de­bated over several days”.

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