Gays urged to form organisations

2016-08-05 06:00
Minister of Social Development Bathabile Dlamini speaks at the session. Photo: Siphelele Nketo

Minister of Social Development Bathabile Dlamini speaks at the session. Photo: Siphelele Nketo

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THE Minister of Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini, called on gays and lesbians to form organisations that will educate people and fight for their rights.

Dlamini was speaking at a social development meeting organised to raise awareness about rights of gays in Matatiele on Saturday.

Addressing more than 100 members of lesbian­, bay, bi-sexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community, Dlamini said gays and lesbians are the victims of gender-based violence in some communities and are murdered by the public because of their gender and sexual orientation.

“Matatiele is one of the hot spots where gays and lesbians are victimised. In my office there are members of the LGBTI and they are very humble.
“People must be treated equally so stop killing gays and lesbians.”

She called on NGOs dealing with gender-base violence to seek funds from her department.

“The department is working with churches and community groups to raise awareness about gay rights. Its not easy for people to accept gays, but people must be educated.”

Some LGBTI members who were part of the session drank alcohol outside the marquee while Dlamini delivered her speech. An official from the department said it is disrespectful and condemned it.

“I can’t stop you [gays and lesbians] from drinking alcohol, but you must respect this function first. I am not going to waste time talking to drunk people,” said Dlamini.

She said she is going to Matatiele where traditional leaders and stakeholders will be educated about gays and lesbian rights.

Dimakatso Sebidi (32), from the LGBTI community called for respect to young gays and lesbians.

“For people to understand us we should respect them.
“Never force family members to accept your sexual status,” warned Sebidi.

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