Plans to hold a gay festival in the Karoo town of Oudtshoorn have been met with outrage by the town’s church leaders, reports the Sunday Times.

Municipal employee Rodney Gelant recently announced his plans to organise a festival in Oudtshoorn along the lines of the Pink Loerie Festival in Knysna and has applied for funding and sponsorship.

Pastor Kobus van Zyl of the Apostolic Faith Mission Klein Karoo Congregation, however, denounced the plans in a letter published by the local newspaper.

“We as a church condemn a parade or festival that celebrates homosexuality in public … We ask that the hosting of a gay festival in Oudtshoorn be reconsidered and strongly opposed,” wrote Van Zyl.

The letter, which was backed by four other church leaders, also described homosexuality as “a horror.”

Gelant told the Sunday Times that he was “expecting that letter” but that “it was still a bit of a shock.”

He added: “See, I’m also a Christian and I go to church. I’m conferring with someone on how I shall respond to these dominees.”

Van Zyl also spoke to the newspaper, saying: “We don’t want to debate the matter. We just feel that it is fair that we, as churches, also get the chance to air our views.”

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