Court orders Dutch Reformed Church to allow same-sex relationships

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Clerics of the Dutch Reformed Church are allowed homosexual relationships. The landmark judgment was handed down in the Pretoria High Court. In 2015, the Church allowed pastors to have same-sex relationships, but in 2016 it changed its decision. The High Court has ruled that as unlawful.

Affected ministers contested this in the Pretoria High Court.

Joseph Raulinga, Pretoria High Court Judge, passed the judgment.

“The following order is made; one the decision on same sex relationships adopted during the extraordinary meeting of the general synod of the Dutch Reformed Church during the 7th to the 10th of November 2016 is declared unlawful and invalid.”

Applicants in the matter welcomed the judgment.

“It means that gay members of the church are fully accepted and can be elected to all positions in the church, whether they are in relationships or not.”

The church says it plans to study the judgment before commenting.

“We will scrutinize the judgment and we’ll come back and we’ll comment on it.”

The applicants relied on Section 9 of the Constitution. The section deals with equality before the law and protects any categories of persons disadvantaged by unfair discrimination.