A quite hardened reader of news24 as I am, I could not miss an article this morning about a probe by the SA human right commission into a wedding venue’s alleged gay ban by Kilcairn Farm wedding venue.
Nor could I miss to note that comments had already been closed for this article, within just a matter of hours of it being posted, with already hundreds of comments made.
I was struck by the “heat” in the comments, with as many people condemning the venue’s owners as in their support.
Although not very used and even willing to go vent my views on the net, I for once felt necessary to write about this story... or more so about the many reactions I read on it.
From the beginning I have to say that South Africa is one of the freest places to live in the world. I have been in a few countries in Africa and I know what it means to be free to express one’s views, or chose one’s religion, or chose one sexual lifestyle... South Africa should be hailed for its human rights records... at least, since the advent of democracy.
Yet, I am saddened by the too strong negative reaction so many people expressed against this wedding venue’s owners choice to not accept in the lesbian couple.
As much as I do not see any problem in people’s choices (religion, sexual orientations, etc…), I do not see either why some consider it right to force others to embrace their choices.
The owners of this venue have made a choice about a specific religious belief that clearly does not allow them to associate with same sex lifestyle, who on earth should try and force them to change and view things differently?
They are so many other venues for weddings; why make a problem about having been refused the use of this particular venue?
I read so many comments of people comparing this sexual orientation-based decision with decisions to associate (or not to associate) with people based on race or gender.
My view is that these are two different things: No one chooses their race or gender. On the other hand, I choose to be gay (lesbian) or straight; I choose to be muslim or christian, or atheist… So, there cannot just be any justification to take decisions based on race or gender, because that would just be unfair since no one ever chose to be born black, white, chinese, or female or male. Also no one should be discriminated against because of their sexual choices or religion. Yet choices to associate with somebody do not necessarily imply discrimination, as long as the other person has also the freedom to choose. So, in my understanding, there is no discrimination here. The venue owner chose to be Christian (or whatever other religion that specifically forbids them to associate with same sex people in any way), and the lesbian couple freely made their choice to be lesbians. Why should anyone try and force them to do business together? Why just see the right to free choice of the one and ignore the other’s right and freedom to choose?
If I choose to be gay, I have the obligation to accept (as much as I except others to accept my choice of being gay) others to be straight. and if some of those who chose to be christians or muslims believe they should not associate with gay people, who am to try and force them otherwise? Everyone’s right stops where their neighbour’s right begins. No one’s rights are bigger than their neighbour’s.