02 March 2020
For immediate distribution
Beloftebos responds to SAHRC’s legal action against them
Beloftebos has only been informed via the media that the SAHRC intends taking this matter to the Equality Court. No court papers have been served, so we are unable to comment on specific allegations.
Beloftebos’ decision not to organise and host same-sex weddings is because of the owners’ deeply held religious convictions that marriage is a sacred covenant between a man and a woman in the presence of God, as well as a symbolic picture of the love and commitment between Christ (as the Bridegroom) and His Church (the Bride). They are therefore not unfairly discriminating against anyone for who they love, or how they love. They welcome everyone equally to their venue and would happily organise a birthday party, an office year-end celebration or any similar event for a same-sex couple. The owners do believe however – based on the constitutional right to religious freedom and belief – that they should be allowed to differentiate between the events and activities that they are willing to facilitate on their property. For example, because of their religious beliefs, they would also decline to host a Halloween party, regardless of who requested it.
If the Court decides against Beloftebos and forces them to participate in and celebrate events that violate their conscience, religion and belief, then every supplier of goods and service provider in South Africa will equally be forced to accept work that they may fundamentally disagree with.
For more information, contact:
Legal Advisor, FOR SA
Tel: 021 556 5502