LESBIAN MINISTER TAKES HER CASE AGAINST METHODIST CHURCH TO CAPE TOWN HIGH COURT – MAY 22, 2013.
The fight between a lesbian and the Methodist Church, has been likened to a David versus Goliath struggle. The Rev. Ecclesia de Lange was ‘fired’ from her job and life mission, when she announced she wanted to marry her partner Amanda in 2009.
Finally, on May 22, 2013, Ecclesia and her lawyer took the Methodist Church to the South African High Court located in the city of Cape Town. While so many of her supporters waited for a decision, the judge retired in order to make a judgement at a later date.
In order to set the stage, let’s explore the setting in which this drama played itself out.
South Africa has made great strides towards human rights since apartheid ended in 1993. The LGBT community world-wide rejoiced when same-sex marriage became legal in South Africa in 2006. In 2009, Ecclesia announced to her congregation that she intended to marry Amanda and was greeted with resounding approval. Ecclesia was quick to point out that her intention to wed was ‘entering unchartered waters.’
Three days later the ‘unchartered waters’ opened a flood-gate of negative reactions from the Methodist authorities. Suspension from her ministry was the first shocking event. Dialogue between Ecclesia proved futile and within a short time, Ecclesia was formally removed from the Methodist Church. All her years of loving service to God’s people evaporated. Her intention to wed and be committed in marriage was overruled by a set of man-made laws. Her lesbian love was deemed inferior to heterosexual love. Marriage was only applicable for heterosexuals. In the eyes of the Methodist Church, the God of unconditional love, was the monopoly of heterosexuals.
How did the Methodist Church slither and slide, and come up with an answer to gay marriage and the firing of Ecclesia. They accused Ecclesia to be in
- breach of “the Laws and Discipline and/or policies decisions practices and usages of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa, when she announced……her intention to enter into a same-sex civil union with her partner, as it was the Church’s policy, practice and usage to recognize only heterosexual marriage.”
Ecclesia decided to fight the Methodist church, not only for her unfair dismissal, but for the emotional stress thrust and indignity levelled against her. Her fight would not be solely for herself. All homosexuals had now become second class citizens. Ecclesia had no choice but to appeal to South African law. It is clearly stated that no South African person can be discriminated based on gender or sexual orientation . Same-sex marriage is also recognized as a legal right. Is any Church higher than the law of the land?
The hypocrisy hurt worshippers. While the Methodist Church was willing to open its doors to gays, it was not willing to open its heart to same-sex marriage. I liken the Church’s invitation to homosexuals to an invitation to a house party. All heterosexual invitees can go anywhere in the house, but homosexuals must remain in the kitchen. They must know their place and isn’t this just a flashback to apartheid with separate toilets/schools/churches/eating establishments, etc. This is the sad history of South Africa and the United States.
Follow this case on http://oblogdeeoblogda.me, The editor is Melanie Nathan and she lives in the U.S.A.
We want to let you know, Ecclesia, that your sisters who are reading papers and blogs are united in solidarity with you. We admire your courage to take on hypocrisy in a religious institution that renders LGBT persons as second class citizens in the “house of God.” It was Jesus who placed the outcast Samaritan as the hero of the Parable, and who drank out of the same cup as an “impure” Samaritan woman.
Kind thoughts to all visitors to this site. paula.
How Religions Can Cause Hatred and Suffering to Homosexuals: Setting: Uganda. All forms of religious intolerance are well documented by Melanie Nathan. This internet reference below is about a bigoted and hateful minister named Scott Lively. It was a visit to Uganda by Lively and others, that resulted in a wake of homophobic hatred
The ministers gave workshops on how homosexuals were a threat to family values. Teachers, police, politicians, ministers and the media were invited. The President’s wife was a personal friend of Rick Warren (another visiting minister). Within days, a bill was introduced in parliament to “Hang Homosexuals.” With this heading, a newspaper printed and outed homosexuals. A couple of months later, David, a gay activist was murdered.
The blood of David, and the fear and hatred directed towards Ugandan homosexuals, must clearly be laid at the feet of these Evangelical ministers.