FOR SA raises concerns about a new Policy for Sexual Orientation that is being prepared and circulated by the University of Cape Town (UCT).
UCT is in the process of developing a policy which will redefine the framework for how sexual orientation will be treated and expressed on this Campus, even going to the extent of changing the pronouns used in addressing someone.
FOR SA assisted the His People Society (a Christian society established on UCT in 1989) to submit some serious concerns on the drafting and implications of this policy for Christians on campus. Our submission pointed out that in its current form, this proposed policy is unconstitutional since it seeks to limit freedom of speech and freedom of religion. (A draft copy of our submission can be downloaded HERE. Scroll down to and click on “Education”, then click on “Policies and Laws”.)
We understand and agree that unfair discrimination against people of a different sexual orientation, cannot be justified in the name of religion. However, the right to freedom of religion (s 15 of the Constitution) includes the right to say and practice (live out) what it is that one believes. A person therefore has a Constitutional right to carry their beliefs into the public space. We also submit that it is important to keep our universities open, and a place where free and robust dialogue should be allowed to take place.
In particular, it appears that UCT is taking the stance that religion should be relegated only to the private space, whilst sexual orientation will be allowed flourish in the public sphere. It is concerning that among the recommendations in the policy are “sensitization training” for all those who would seek to operate on the campus. FOR SA will monitor developments as this policy may be a model that other Universities will adopt.
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