South African court ruled that faith is not an excuse for homophobia

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Prominent pastor Oscar Bougardt was recently found in contempt of court for making anti-gay comments on social media by South Africa’s Equality Court. The pastor came under fire in 2013 as he was caught verbally abusing gay people on social media and via emails, but then he said that his Christian faith allowed him to do so. He went even further saying that South Africa ‘should deal with them [LGBT people] like Nigeria does’. There is a death penalty for homosexuality in Nigeria. As well as making comments comparing LGBT people to paedophiles, Bougardt was also recorded as blaming recent droughts in Cape Town on “wickedness and homosexuality and church leaders who fail to preach the Bible and sodomite abomination.” Judge Lee Bozalek later ruled that even if his comments had a religious basis, they were clearly discriminatory and a violation of the earlier settlement. The South African Human Rights Commission had requested that Bougardt spend a month in prison, and be fined half a million South African Rand, the equivalent of £26,000.

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