AFTER agonising for almost a fortnight, the Dutch Reformed Church at Moreleta Park in South Africa, has decided to abide by a court ruling, and will pay gay music teacher Johan Strydom about R87 000 (Â£6,000) in damages and loss of income, as well as make a public apology to him.
According to this report, church minister Dirkie van der Spuy said the decision to pay up and apologise was made after a meeting of the church’s legal team and the Church Council on Tuesday night.
It will pay Strydom R75 000 for impairment of his dignity, emotional and psychological suffering. Strydom will also receive a further R11 970 from the congregation for loss of earnings.
We await the wording of the apology with bated breath â€¦
UPDATE – September 12: The church as now issued this brief apology to Strydom
We offer our unconditional apology to Mr Strydom for the fact that we, according to the court, unfairly discriminated against him by ending his services.
The congregation listed five reasons for its decision not to appeal the verdict, including that:
The congregation’s belief that being in a homosexual relationship is a sin was not rejected by the court.
It further said:
The congregation had enough opportunity to testify on the Bible’s view on the dangers of homosexuality. The congregation had the wonderful opportunity to tell the world about God’s love for all people, including those who are in homosexual relationships.
However, it disagreed with the court’s finding that Strydom was not a spiritual leader and that the church’s rules for its leaders did not apply to him.
Van der Spuy, according to this report, is still adamant that homosexual behaviour can be “rectified” and that a homosexual person could have a new life “in peace and freedom” once he realised his behaviour was sinful and decided to break with it.