Target: Principal and Pastor of Secunda Highveld Christian School
Goal: Allow the son of married, same-sex couple to continue to attend school and apologize for discriminating based on sexual orientation
Recently, Samantha and Kally Mabe, a legally married South African couple, were called in for a meeting with the principal of Secunda Highveld Christian School where their five-year-old son attends school. The unnamed school principal and pastor informed the couple that their “homosexuality was problematic,” and they must either “walk away from [their] lifestyle” or have their son expelled from the school. The school officials went on the express “concern” that the Mabe’s son would be teased or bullied by other students due to their sexual orientation.
Samantha and Kally Mabe insist that they were open and honest about their marriage when enrolling their son in the school. In a recent interview, Kally Mabe stated that, when filling out enrollment forms at the school, she “filled in [her] details under the section in the form that asks for [her son’s] mother’s details and [Samantha Mabe] filled in the area that said ‘Father/Guardian’, but filled in her title as Mrs.” Furthermore, the Mabes alleges that the school’s principal even told them that they were “Christian and not in a position to judge [the couple].” However, school officials later told the Mabes that, had they known they were a lesbian couple, they would never have allowed their son to enroll in the school.
In South Africa, same-sex marriage has been legal under the Civil Union Act since 2006. Furthermore, the South African Constitution bans discrimination based on sexual orientation. Although the school is a private Christian school, it is not exempt from discrimination laws that outlaw “unfair” discrimination. In the past, other South African schools have faced legal action for discriminating against homosexual teachers, administrators and students.
The Mabes refuse to divorce and have stated that they will not pull their son from the school either. They maintain that they have paid tuition for their son, and were clear and honest about their marriage when enrolling their son.
Condemn Secunda Highveld Christian School for its outright discrimination against Kally and Samantha Mabe. Demand that they apologize to the couple and continue to allow their son to attend school.
Dear Secunda Highveld Christian School Principal and Pastor,
Recently, Samantha and Kally Mabe, the parents of a student at Secunda Highveld Christian School were told by school officials that if they did not divorce, their son would be expelled. Despite the couple making the details of their marriage known on enrollment documents, the school alleges that they falsified information and attempted to “rewrite the school rules,” simply by being a same-sex married couple.
By suggesting that the Mabes “reject their lifestyle,” the school has not only shown outright discrimination toward the couple, but has breached South African laws that prohibit unfair discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Samantha and Kally Mabe are a legally married couple and deserve the same rights as other married couples. Attempting to break apart a family goes against the very teachings of kindness, love and acceptance that Secunda Highveld Christian School claims to promote.
I urge you to immediately apologize for discriminating against the Mabes based solely on their sexual orientation, and continue to allow their son to attend the school.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Rhoda Baer via Wikimedia Commons