Servicing the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community

OUT provides direct health services to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, MSM, sex workers, and injecting drug users, including HIV testing, counselling, treatment and general lifestyle advice and support.

OUT has been in existence for more than 21 years and is dedicated to the building of healthy and empowered LGBT communities in South Africa and internationally, while reducing hetrosexism and homophobia in society.

Love Not Hate welcomes Jon Qwelane hate speech judgment

In addition, Justice Moshidi rejected Qwelane’s defence that the provisions of the Equality Act concerning hate speech are unconstitutional.

Qwelane was ordered by the court to tender an unconditional apology to the LGBTI community, which must be published in a national Sunday newspaper with the same or equal circulation as the Sunday Sun. He was also ordered to pay the costs of the other parties in the proceedings.

Evidence in the case, and the judgment, are to be forwarded to the South African Police Service for further investigation.

“This is an important decision by the courts,” said Lerato Phalakatshela, Hate Crime Manager at OUT, and spokesperson for the campaign. “It reaffirms the terrible impact of hate speech against the LGBTI community, and acknowledges that these words and sentiments lead to an environment conducive to discrimination and violence.”

Phalakatshela noted that last year’s Love Not Hate report on Hate Crimes against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) People in South Africa found that verbal abuse was the most common form of discrimination faced by this community.

Of those surveyed, 39 percent reported being subjected to verbal insults, while 20 percent were threatened with physical violence.

“Although freedoms of speech and expressions are important cornerstones of our democracy, vilifying and debasing LGBTI people, an already vulnerable group, as less than fully human is a step too far,” said Phalakatshela. “We hope Qwelane accepts this judgement and does the honourable thing by unconditionally apologising for his dangerous and dehumanising words.”

The Love Not Hate campaign is a nation-wide multi-partner initiative addressing violence against LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual and intersex) people.

For more information, please contact Lerato Phalakatshela, Hate Crime Manager at OUT LGBT Well-being, on 012 430 3272 / leratop@out.org.za

Services
Have you been threatened, hit, raped or had your property damaged or stolen because you are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or intersex (LGBTI)? Then you have been a victim of a hate crime.
OUT offers exciting training to mainstream service providers and other interested parties. The training assists individuals to understand themselves as sexual beings.
Currently OUT distributes safer sex packs to a range of venues in Tshwane that are utilised by gay men and lesbian women. These packs also include responsible sex messaging, appropriate barrier methods and lube.
OUT's Engage Men’s Health project offers free and confidential sexual health services to gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM).