Only DA attends LGBT+ election meeting

2016-07-15 12:23
(from left to right) Nonhlanhla Hlongwane (IEC) Jacqui Mseleku Khanyile (moderator), Anthony Waldhausen (GLN), Martin Meyer (DA), Gugu Memela (IEC)

(from left to right) Nonhlanhla Hlongwane (IEC) Jacqui Mseleku Khanyile (moderator), Anthony Waldhausen (GLN), Martin Meyer (DA), Gugu Memela (IEC) (Deepika Naidoo, The Witness)

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Pietermaritzburg - The failure of some political parties to pitch up for a discussion around gay rights in the city on Thursday was a clear reflection on who gay voters should support.

That is according to Anthony Waldhausen of the Gay and Lesbian Network (GLN) after they held a public meeting at the Dominican Priory in Scottsville yesterday.

The invited guests were the IEC, the DA, the ANC, the EFF, the IFP and the NFP, who were to discuss the upcoming local government elections and each party’s manifesto pertaining to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual community. However, only the IEC and the DA attended the event despite the other parties accepting the invitation.

The event began with Waldhausen extending a warm welcome but a deep dissatisfaction with the poor attendance of all the parties except the DA.

DA deputy caucus leader Martin Meyer from Durban began by stating his affiliation to the queer community.

“I am a proudly gay man as well and I have been active in the LGBTI community for many years,” he said.

Meyer also mentioned names of members of the DA who are openly gay in Parliament. He said he understands the struggle faced in the community as a marginalised person.

He gave a brief overview of the party’s manifesto that bases itself on three values: freedom, fairness and opportunity.

He said the DA does not see these values in South Africa today and wants to change that when they govern.

One of the main issues brought up in the “Q and A” section of the afternoon was the fact that hate crime is rife within the LGBT+ community in the forms of violent crimes and, most notably, corrective rape.

Meyer said the DA believes the Constitution is not being enforced and that hate crimes need to be better defined in law to protect LGBT+ people.

“Too often we have hate crimes and we will have 100 people standing there doing nothing,” said Meyer. “Things are not going well. We as the people must fix it.”

During the discussion, a member of the audience wearing an ANC T-shirt stood up and said the ANC did not have to attend the event to show their support for the LGBT+ community and that they support all human rights. He declined to give his name to The Witness when asked later.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  lgbt

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