LISTEN: George mayor voices his disapproval of gay event

A public statement made by George mayor Melvin Naik in Western Cape regarding the Boston Gay Choir’s concert in George next week put a damper on the buildup to the event, George Herald reports.

The Boston Gay Choir will be visiting George on Tuesday, June 19, performing at the Gay Pride Parade in York Street in the morning and giving a concert in the Conville community hall that evening.

Naik made an announcement on the local Christian radio station, Heart BeatFM, on Tuesday 12 June, saying he heard the event takes place under the banner of the George Municipality and that it does not carry his approval.

“As the mayor of George Municipality, I want to make this statement, all due to my Christian convictions and belief system. It does not carry my approval. I’m saying this without any judgment or discrimination against anyone,” he said. “This is only out of my Christian conviction. All of us are equally made by God, all that I will do is bless these men and keep on praying for them.”

Listen to the sound clip here.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Western Cape issued a statement on Wednesday morning (14 June) in response to Naik’s comments, condemning in the strongest terms the utterances made by Naik. “His utterances do not represent the views of the party.

“Therefore, the Federal Executive chairperson, James Selfe, will be referring this matter to the party’s Federal Legal Commission (FLC) for further investigation.

“No public representative of the DA can make a decision to exclude or discriminate against any member of our society based on his/her personal views. The DA is a party for all people, irrespective of one’s sexual orientation. We reject unfair discrimination on any grounds and show solidarity with the LGBTI community.”

Themed around a message of acceptance and freedom for people to be who they are, the Gay Pride Parade is expected to host international gay ambassadors and local activists, and is open to anyone who wants to support or participate.

It will start at the Victoria Street intersection in York Street at 12am and move down to Unity Park, where the choir will perform. George Municipality deputy mayor Charlotte Clarke will officially welcome the visitors.

In a press release, municipal media liaison officer Athane Scholtz said: “The concert, for which entry is free of charge and open to all, starts at the Conville community hall at 18:00. Note the traffic impact during the march is expected to be minimal, with a section of one lane closed in York Street as the march progresses.”

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