Al Jama-ah demands LGBTIQ+ exclusion from SA’s national family policy


Kabelo Gwamanda from the Al Jama-ah party said his election as Johannesburg Mayor in May was the “will of God”

Al Jama-ah, the homophobic party behind Johannesburg mayor Kabelo Gwamanda, has demanded that LGBTIQ+ groups “stop imposing their practices on society.”

In a statement on Wednesday, the Islamic-based political party called on the government to ensure that any proposals by the LGBTIQ+ community are excluded from the revised White Paper on Family Life.

The White Paper outlines the government’s policies to promote family life. Deputy President Paul Mashatile recently announced plans to revise the document to strengthen families in South Africa to improve social cohesion.

Al Jama-ah supports the revision as long as it only promotes “traditional” family structures “based on a divine system” that does not recognise LGBTIQ+ families.

The party took the opportunity to lash out at Woolworths for its controversial Pride Month campaign, asserting that “instead of perpetuating normal descent practices,” the retailer “deliberately chose to make this ‘abnormality’ normal and socially acceptable.”

Al Jama-ah also criticised the DA-run Western Cape Education Department and the DA for having “readily embraced the LGBTQI+ agenda without critically thinking about its consequences.”

The party said it was “alarmed at the increasing campaigns both in the business sectors and educational institutions to enforce questionable behavior patterns under the notion of ‘normalising’ the LGBTQ+ agenda.”

Responding to Al Jama-ah’s statement, the United Democratic Movement (UDM) described the party’s views as “irrational, uninformed, and homophobic” and pointed out that “the LGBTIQ+ community comes from families and belongs in communities.”

UDM Secretary General, Yongama Zigebe, said he was “appalled that a political party representing a minority of Muslims in Parliament could have the audacity to discriminate against another minority group.”

He stated that the LGBTIQ+ community has the constitutional right for their views to be represented in Parliament, in the process of establishing or amending new legislation.

Zigebe noted that the 2021 version of the White Paper on Families did not accommodate same-sex marriages and queer families and insisted that planned revisions to the White Paper ensure that LGBTIQ+ people “are recognised legislatively as part of modern family structures in society.”

The UDM further praised companies like Woolworths for their support of Pride. “We need such allies to display intolerance of hate, unapologetically,” said Zigebe.

An ANC, EFF, PA, and Al Jama-ah coalition has twice voted into office a Johannesburg mayor from Al Jama-ah, most recently Kabelo Gwamanda, to stop other parties from taking power in South Africa’s largest city. The willingness of the ANC, EFF, and PA to align themselves with an openly homophobic, sexist, and anti-democratic party has led to questions about the credibility of their stated LGBTIQ+ allyship.

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