South Africa’s oldest LGBTI rights organisation has expressed concern that the community’s constitutional rights are under threat.

In a statement, Triangle Project said that a number of recent events have “raised levels of deep concern, outrage and indignation” within the organisation. It pointed out a number of troubling developments, including:

  • The recent public debates and sentiments around the Caster Semenya gender-testing debacle;
  • The escalating heterosexist violence against black lesbian women;
  • The ongoing delays and postponements in various homophobic hate crime trials;
  • President Jacob Zuma and the ANC entertaining calls from the “new God squad” that is pushing for the abolishment of Abortion Laws and the Civil Union Act.

Triangle also noted the recent vandalism of over 700 Out In Africa Gay and Lesbian Film Festival posters in and around Cape Town.

“The behaviour of those who removed the posters is a reflection of the uninformed and misinformed attitudes which perpetuate heterosexist values which feed gender stereotypes and violence,” said the organisation.

“We call on all South Africans to work towards strengthening our constitution and the values it subscribes to. We call on fundamentalist religious and cultural groups who continue to marginalise and victimise sexual minorities in the name of God and continue to cause division in our society, to stop feeding into the socio-political tensions around race, sex, gender inequality and sexual diversity,” said Triangle.

It further said that the State must remain accountable to all its citizens and engage with gender, LGBTI focused organizations and human rights activists to make the Bill of Rights “a lived reality for all and to narrow the disparity between constitutional rights and our lived realities”.

The Cape Town based Triangle Project describes itself as an NPO advocating for the human rights and dignity of LGBTI persons, working towards eradicating society of harmful stereotypes, discrimination and prejudice – and bringing an end to all forms of heterosexist violence and homophobia.

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