Bloemfontein Christian training centre violates gay rights, says SAHRC

Promotional mages from the website of Creare Training Centre, a Christian arts academy in Bloemfontein.
Promotional mages from the website of Creare Training Centre, a Christian arts academy in Bloemfontein.

A Christian arts training centre in Bloemfontein has been found guilty of human rights violations for discriminating against homosexuals, the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) ruled yesterday.

The SAHRC has recommended that the Creare Training Centre amend its constitution to accommodate diversity and attend “sensitisation workshops” conducted by the Institute for Social justice and Reconciliation Studies at the University of the Free State, in collaboration with the South African Council of Churches.

In January, the Department of Justice ordered the SAHRC to investigate alleged anti-homosexual discrimimation by the centre, following media reports that it claims in its prospectus that it can cure gay students and that if they refused treatment they would be expelled. The centre responded by publishing a statement on its website saying it does not discriminate against anybody and offers a wide range of part-time courses to students irrespective of the race, religion or sexual orientation. It says that students considering its fulltime Bible School course, which accounts for less than 0.5% of its student component, are required to commit to pursuing a Biblical lifestyle that includes a heterosexual view on human sexuality.

According to its policy statement the centre is available to offer ministry support, in the form of Biblical teaching, prayer and encouragement to students who want to change their sexual orientation.

“We do not claim to have some methodology to cure those of homosexual orientation, as if homosexuality were a disease or illness,” says the document.

Creare head, Pastor Cornelis van Heyningen said at the time: “We respect the rights of people who believe they are born as homosexuals; but who is standing up for the rights of people of this orientation who want to change? Do they not have rights to live the changed life they desire? Where are their human rights facilitated?”

In a media statement released yesterday, Isaac Mangena, Head of Communications of the SAHRC, said it “received a complaint from the Deputy Minister of Justice & Constitutional Development, Honourable Andries Nel, requesting the Commission to investigate whether Creare Training Centre violated section 09 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (Act 108 of 1996) and the provision of the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act 2000 (Act 4 of 2000), by unfairly discriminating on people on the basis of sexual orientation.”

He said the SAHRC found that:

  • “Creare Training Centre prospectus relating to relationship etiquette constitutes a violation of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBTIs) right to equality, dignity, religion, freedom of association, freedom and security of the person and education.
  • “The extent that sexual minorities have been victims of past patterns of discrimination that led to the systematic disadvantage, the relationship etiquette of Creare Training Centre has the potential effect of perpetuating decimation against LGBTI people
  • “The Commission reject the exclusionary provision in the relationship etiquette and the justification offered by Creare Training Centre
  • “Creare Training Centre’s provision in the relationship etiquette constitutes a violation of rights that has the potential of resulting in psychological and physical harm to members of LGTBI community”.

14 Comments

  1. South African Christians must wake up, the battle is getting more intense, gay rights is not the same as aparheid. GOD creates races He does not create homosexuals anymore than He creates murderers. Homosexuality is a sin and the most loving thing we can do for our nation and homosexuals is point this out and call them to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ

  2. I don’t feel that they have done anything discriminatory.

    “We do not claim to have some methodology to cure those of homosexual orientation, as if homosexuality were a disease or illness,”

    “We respect the rights of people who believe they are born as homosexuals; but who is standing up for the rights of people of this orientation who want to change? Do they not have rights to live the changed life they desire? Where are their human rights facilitated”

    Exactly. Who is anyone to take away the CHOICE of someone. If they embrace the way they are, that is their choice. If they wish to persue an alternative lifestyle, that is their choice. We cannot make that for them. For example, if I am heterosexual, and I choose to experiment, that is MY choice. I don’t think it is the best path for someone to deny who they are, but especially for religious homosexual people, part of the process of acceptance etc is to go through and exhaust all other options. There has to be the space to do that – it shouldn’t be forced on anyone. In fact, I even thinks this borders on infringing on the centre’s right to freedom of religion. Can we rather focus on serious matters, like SAHRC charging police officers who turn away victims of corrective rape?

  3. The pink agenda has certainly born its perverse fruit. Christians should write to the HRC to voice their dissent with this decision. Wake up and do something about this now before it is too late.

  4. A person who wants to change from homo-sexuality because of his belief in the Bible, has the human right to do that. This Academy caters for that and we should honor that.

  5. The HRC is out of line here. They are guilty of what they accuse Creare of. IF students don’t agree with a school’s rules and regulations, then they don’t have to study there. Nobody is forcing them or discriminating against them. Creare is a biblically based school, and if the Bible states clearly that homosexuality is a sin, Creare would be hypocrytes to suddenly change their stance due to the HRC or any media hoo haa. It’s a matter of principle. What about those people that feel they want to change their orientation. Don’t they have any rights? Why must it be forced on them that they were born like that and there is no help for them. We all know the truth deep down.

  6. I agree with all comments above and have so much to say myself. I would however like to say what I have to say to the people who need to hear me i.e. HRC etc. This is persecution. The rights of gays are receiving more prominance and attention than the rights of Christian believers. The Word has warned us of this.Billy is right guys, the battle is intensifying and is a spiritual one and we m8ust wake up!!!. The weapons of the world are therefore useless as spiritual warfare requires spiritual weapons. I know of a Christian bed and breakfast that was attacked in Israel by the gay parade. When losing the court battle they chose to close rather than compromise. Sometimes alternate approaches are necessary. I do not advocate for the closure of Creare as that would play into the enemies hands. I do believe however that there is always a way forward and that ultimely God is in control of everything. He will guide each of us according to His will in these matters. We need to hear Him and obey. I for one in this matter will pray for them because all I can do for them right now is to pray to our Father for His will. God bless all of you

  7. Rev Ian Karshagen

    Stand by your principles Creare! We will be praying for you, and our God is the only true God! He is powerful and faithful. 2 Timothy 1:7-9

  8. Jesus Christ said to Nicodemus that one needs to be born again in order to see the Kingdom of GOD. You cannot change your behaviour or your sexual orientation unless you get born again then you will experience change in your life. Our God is not man that HE can lie nor the son man that HE should repent. HE is from everlasting to everlasting, therefore homosexuality is sin before the eyes of my Father.

  9. The Word of God is the ultimate authority. Creare, you have my support. May God give you Wisdom! Personally I don’t understand the issue: Creare is not forcing all people in South Africa to live by its rules, only those who want to be part of Creare. And if I want to go to a biblical based school, I want to go where I know the Bible is respected as the ultimate Word of God. No compromise!

  10. I believe, This happening is part of Gods plan. The more persecution the Christians get, the more Christians will UNITE and make our voice heard. Stand strong Past Cornelius and Creare. The ACDP and FF supports you on paper, in their Manifesto’s, not the DA, the ANC, Cope and all other parties. It is a long, very long walk to change the laws in this country back to Biblical values and truths. We believe more and more Christians need to get active in Governance, to make a stand, so the laws can change one day.

  11. BIANCA BEZUIDENHOUT

    This is act of the a violation of our rights as Christians to live according to the Word of the Most High God. Warning people to submit to obedience to God- for the body of Christ is not here to give u a fuzzy feeling” – we are here to challenge u in the word of The Most High God. The God whose word should not be taken lightly. Yet also do not take this word on with a heavy heart! Stepping forward in obedience to Christ is LIFE the life you were created to experience- that hole inside you is His throne in your heart! Do not take His word of discipline lightly and the church of Christ will stand behind you when the going gets tough. When satan wants to destroy you and feed you lies about how you were made – we will be there to show you the way HOME into life only through the power and guidance of Our Father and the authority of the church to be His representatives. THAT IS WHAT WE BELIEVE. We need to be obedient Firstly to Our Father.

  12. I cannot believe this ruling. It is claimed to be hate speech if you say you want to help people who want it. Of course those who are happy with their sexual orientation would not try this route! But we as Bible believing citizens are not allowed to help those who do believe that the Bible is true. And that means that no person practising homosexuality will go to heaven (1 Timothy 1:10; 1 Corinthians 6:9). I LOVE GAY PEOPLE. But I also know that they would perish if they keep on doing what God Himself calls scandalous (Romans 1:27). May we love homosexual people, and all sinners for that matter, enough to help them overcome any hindrances they might have. We will then have the joy of spending eternity in heaven with those people. And those who do not want to change can carry on doing what they want. We should have a clear conscience before God, knowing that we helped those who wanted it. Let’s love people enough to tell them the truth – even if we are at risk to be falsely accused of hate! We must remember that we are living in the end times, and that the Word warned us that the world will hate us. Let us rejoice that thw Word is true!