Protestors have confronted a Bishop in South Africa who claimed that homosexuality is “unnatural” because it does not occur in the animal kingdom.
Bishop Dag Heward-Mills of Grace Bible Church in Soweto made the outspoken comments in a sermon this week, prompting ridicule from local LGBT activists and some church-goers.
He had claimed: “You will find that homosexuality is not natural. You don’t find two male dogs, two male lions, two male impalas Two male cats, even lizards, two elephants. It is unnatural.
“Yes, there is nothing like that in nature. And in the same way there is nothing like one to one Nature is one to several.”
Now his church has been besieged by protestors angry at the ludicrous claims.
One activist, Motsau Motsau, said they were there to clear up confusion.
“We are not asking the church or faith spaces to be accepting of us, it’s clear.
“We are not here to argue on moral theological grounds that they should accept us or love us, but are asking for people to be in solidarity with us.
“People who know the oppression.
“We are saying let us stand together against religious intolerance that promotes discrimination and violence against our bodies,” Motsau said.
“Everyone is entitled to understand the Bible and interpret it in their own way.
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“But when you compare me to an adulterer, the adulterer is not denied access to medical care when they go to a hospital, they aren’t kicked out of their homes or denied food. This is what we face. These are our bodies on the line,” he said.
Local celebrity radio host Somizi Mhlongo stormed out of the church during the sermon, explaining: “I’m not going to sit there and listen to somebody offending me….I walked out – and visibly so! I’m proud and I’m going to remain gay for the rest of my life!”
The church’s leader, Bishop Mosa Sono, responded by claiming the church is duty bound to promote heterosexual relationships.
“That is the only form of partnership approved by God for sexual relations. We neither believe nor accept that holding this theological and ethical view on biblical grounds is, in itself, discriminatory,” Bishop Sono claimed.
Of course, the Bishop could not be more wrong about his insistence that homosexuality doesn’t exist in nature.
Same-sex activity is used in the animal kingdom for many reasons, ranging from pleasure-seeking to conflict solving. Many species form bonds for life with their same-sex partner.