17 November 2015
In Johannesburg, South Africa, two Presbyterian clergymen appeared before a church tribunal last week on charges of misconduct after they officiated over four gay weddings.
“As far as I am concerned they are charging the wrong people,” Hansie Wolmarans, a professor of theology at the University of Johannesburg, told the local nnewspaper, The Sunday Times.
“Homosexuality cannot be harmful or a sin.”
Wolmarans, along with Reverend Martin ‘Chunky’ Young, appeared last Monday at the Parktown offices of the South African Presbyterian Church’s provincial ruling body, the eGoli Presbytery.
A complaint by a minister in Cape Town was laid against Wolmarans and Young, after they presided over the four same sex unions.
Presbyterian Church ministers may not register for a civil union licence. However, Wolmarans, who holds such a licence, would perform the legal requirements of the marriages, while Young would “bless” the union.
In their heads of argument, the two men argued that the church’s current rules contravene South African law that allows for same sex marriages.
The church’s provincial and national bodies declined to comment as the outcome of the hearings has not been finalised.