My colleagues and I often care for patients suffering from hallucinations, prophesying, and claiming to speak with God, among other symptoms—in mental health care, it’s sometimes very difficult to tell apart religious belief from mental illness…. Our conclusions frequently stem from the behaviors we see before us. Take an example of a man who walks into an emergency department, mumbling incoherently. He says he’s hearing voices in his head, but insists there’s nothing wrong with him. He hasn’t used any drugs or alcohol. If he were to be evaluated by mental health professionals, there’s a good chance he might be diagnosed with a psychotic disorder like schizophrenia. But what if that same man were deeply religious? What if his incomprehensible language was speaking in tongues?
IN THE EQUALITY COURT OF JOHANNESBURG
HELD AT THE JOHANNESBURG MAGISTRATE’S COURT
CASE NUMBER: 44/EQ JHB
IN THE MATTER BETWEEN:
SOUTH AFRICAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISION COMPLAINANT
JON QWULANE RESPONDENT
1. This is an application for judgment by default in terms of Rule 32 of Act 32 of 1944. The court finds that there has been proper service on the respondent. The respondent was not in attendance at court. The complainant relied on the founding affidavit and argued the matter.
2. The complaint is undefended. The respondent has filed no papers. In the circumstances there is only one version before court. It is that of the complainant. The court is not going to repeat the argument presented as it already forms part of the record. This argument is accepted.
3. In the totality of the submissions tendered by the complainant the court finds the following:
3.1 The complainant has the necessary locus standi to institute these proceedings.
3.2 This court has the necessary jurisdiction to adjudicate this matter.
3.3 The contents of the article and cartoon amount to hate speech (see here).
3.4 The article and cartoon propagates hatred and harm against homosexuals. Homosexuals as represented by the complainant have suffered emotional pain and suffering as a result of the action of the respondent.
4. The court therefore grants judgment in favour of the complainant as follows:
4.1 The respondent is ordered to make an unconditional apology to the gay and lesbian community. Such apology is to be published in the Sunday Sun as well as one other national newspaper.
4.2 Damages in an amount of RI 00 000-00 is granted. Such amount is to be paid to the complainant and to be used to promote and raise awareness regarding the rights of gays and lesbians.
4.3 No costs are ordered.
DATED AT JOHANNESBURG THIS THE 31ST DAY OF MAY 2011.
NM KARIKAN ADDITIONAL MAGISTRATE (EQUALITY COURT) JOHANNESBIRGBACK TO TOP