Tuesday, July 31, 2012

South Africa

The South African Constitution Protects the Rights of People with Unwanted Same-sex Attraction and Ex-gays

The South African Constitution of 1996 provides in a Bill of Rights that "everyone is equal before the law" and prohibit "unfair" discrimination on the basis of sex and sexual orientation, as well as a large list of other characteristics. It leaves everyone with the freedom of choice. It is about diversity, autonomy, self-determination. It thus leaves individuals with the right to explore their heterosexual potential. It can be said to those amongst the gay community who does not agree; "who are you to judge? Let me decide for my life. I don't want gays telling me I can't change."

Constitution of the Republic of South Africa no. 108 of 1996
Chapter 2 Bill of Rights


9. (1) Everyone is equal before the law and has the right to equal protection and benefit of the law.

(2) Equality includes the full and equal enjoyment of all rights and freedoms. To promote the achievement of equality, legislative and other measures designed to protect or advance persons, or categories of persons, disadvantaged by unfair discrimination may be taken.

(3) The state may not unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds, including race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language and birth.

(4) No person may unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds in terms of subsection (3). National legislation must be enacted to prevent or prohibit unfair discrimination.

(5) Discrimination on one or more of the grounds listed in subsection (3) is unfair unless it is established that the discrimination is fair.

Your constitutional right to self-determination and not to be discriminated against

Change is only for those with unwanted same-sex attractions. What makes you happy may not make someone else happy because we are all individuals. We therefore have to respect other people's decisions for their lives. Ex-gays can testify to the fact that those with unwanted homosexuality deserve the right to self-determination and happiness based on their own needs, and not the needs of other persons or organisations. According to the American Psychological Association, "[m]ental health organizations call on their members to respect a person's right to self-determination." (2008)

While people and organisations are fighting for the rights of the LGBT community, they are often intolerable of people, that for what ever reason do not feel comfortable with the idea of being gay. In many cases they deny others the rights they themselves are fighting for. Gay activist organizations instruct their members to reject ex-gays and homosexuals who refuse to self-identify as "gay." Gay activists cannot claim sympathy as victims when they victimize others. We should all be tolerant of each other regardless of our sexual orientation. Homosexuality has multiple causes and people have experienced it differently in their lives. If a gay person's sense of well-being is dependent on all other people with same-sex attractions having had the same experience that they did, then that person is in a dangerous place. In fact, this is what has caused persecution of ex-gays.

The demonization of ex-gays by gays themselves is a sad end to the long struggle for tolerance by the gay community. That ex-gays and their supporters are now oppressed by the same people who until recently were victimized themselves, demonstrates how far the gay rights movement has come. Indeed, a new chapter in the movement has begun – the right of homosexuals and lesbians to leave unwanted homosexuality.

Because of the abuse heaped upon them by society, former homosexuals experience discrimination at every level. When a former homosexual marries an opposite sex partner, the ex-gay is ridiculed by former friends. Ex-gays find heterosexuals also reject them if their past is known because "Once gay, always gay" is assumed. While gays can come out of the "closet," ex-gays are forced to stay in theirs because of public prejudice. While gays gain sympathy as victims, ex-gays are criticized and face life-long intolerance for simply existing as living proof that homosexuality is not innate. South Africa needs to face the real issue of bigotry -- oppression of ex-gays.

Ex-gays are subject to an increasingly hostile environment where they are labelled as perpetrators of hate and discrimination against homosexuals simply because they advocate for or live out a different view of homosexuality.

Gay activists have created an environment where anyone who does not accept homosexuality as equivalent to heterosexuality in every way is labelled a "bigot" whose attitude equates to racism. Consequently, alternatives to homosexuality are interpreted as harassment "against" gays. Sexual orientation non-discrimination laws and hate crime policies are used to silence the ex-gay community and legitimize intolerance against former homosexuals. Fighting "hate" and "discrimination" against gays has become a euphemism for attacks against ex-gays and their supporters.

Former homosexual men and women, as well as their friends and family, feel threatened because they are subjected to a hostile environment if they publicly claim their former homosexuality or support of the ex-gay community. To give sexual orientation protection to one group while excluding another is outright discrimination.

It is then appropriate to point out that you have the right to choose not to be gay, would you wish to do so. You also have the right to live a dignified life without fear if you are ex-gay. You also have the right to seek psychological help, counselling or spiritual help from who ever you feel comfortable with, to provide you fulfilling your need.

There is much talking going on about bullying in our schools and community and how it is not allowed against the LGBT community. Please note that the same is true for ALL people, including you who's not happy being gay.


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