Media Statement: SAHRC finds against the Free State Creare Training Centre for the violation of Gays and Lesbians rights
08 April 2013
Attention reporters and editors
The South African Human Rights Commission finds that the Creare Training Centre prospectus “Relationship Etiquette” which opposes same sex relationships; and calls for discipline or baring gays lesbians from attending classes, violates the rights to equality, dignity, religion, freedom of association, freedom and security of the person and education as enshrined in the constitution.
Creare Training Centre is a voluntary association established under the leadership Our Father’s Home Church that specialises in Christian based studies, Christian Arts and Mission with its Head Office in Bloemfontein, Free State.
The Deputy Minister alleged to have in possession of a document which was published by Creare Training Centre titled “Relationship Etiquette” which states that “Any existing relationships between male and female Creare students will be submitted to Creare leadership.
According to the Statement of Faith in the Constitution of Creare Training Centre, we believe in the principle of relationship fundamental to personal sexual orientation being founded of that of heterosexual.
Therefore any person wanting to pursue a lifestyle contrary and is not willing to be disciplined (sic) in this regard, will not be permitted to continue further studies or lecture . We offer ministry to help people that want to change their sexual orientation A.E Homosexuality and Lesbianism to heterosexuality”
The South African Human Rights Commission (Commission) received a complaint from the Deputy Minister of Justice & Constitutional Development, Honourable Andries Nel, requesting the Commission to investigate whether Creare Training Centre violated section 09 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (Act 108 of 1996) and the provision of the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act 2000 (Act 4 of 2000), by unfairly discriminating on people on the basis of sexual orientation.
The Commission investigated the matter in line with the Constitutional mandate which gives power to investigate complaints relating to violations of Human Rights.
In their response Creare Training Centre stated that that their institution is a voluntary association and students enrol by choice.
The Commission made the following findings, that:
- Creare Training Centre prospectus relating to relationship etiquette constitutes a violation of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBTIs) right to equality, dignity, religion, freedom of association, freedom and security of the person and education.
- The extent that sexual minorities have been victims of past patterns of discrimination that led to the systematic disadvantage, the relationship etiquette of Creare Training Centre has the potential effect of perpetuating decimation against LGBTI people
- The Commission reject the exclusionary provision in the relationship etiquette and the justification offered by Creare Training Centre
- Create Training Centre’s provision in the relationship etiquette constitutes a violation of rights that has the potential of resulting in psychological and physical harm to members of LGTBI community
Subsequently the Commission recommended the following:
(a) a reasonable accommodation for diversity
- The Creare Training Centre to review and amend the Training Centre Constitution and Prospectus within a period of three (3) months from date of this finding. Such amendment Constitution should demonstrate the following:
(b) Affirmation that difference should not be the basis of exclusion
- Institute for Social justice and Reconciliation Studies at the University of the Free State, in collaboration with the South African Council of Churches, engage Creare Training Centre in a series of Sensitisation Workshops, and report in writing to the Commission on the progress achieved thereby no later than six month from the date of this finding
SA Human Rights Commission
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