At the 2007 General Synod of the Dutch Reformed Church a compromise resolution was
accepted regarding homosexual members. This resolution, inter alia, requires of gay
ministers to remain celibate as a prerequisite to be legitimated. This research is a
qualitative inquiry to evaluate the impact which this resolution has on the lives of gay
ministers and gay candidate ministers. Narrative and postfoundational perspectives
were obtained by interviewing six gay ministers and/or candidate ministers as coresearchers,
and also by engaging in dialogue with inter-disciplinary experts from
Sociology, Psychology and Law.
This research traced the history of the Resolution, while the patriarchal and
heteronormative discourses underlying the formulation were discussed. These
discourses still sustain the Resolution. Interwoven in the Resolution are contradictions
and double standards based on prejudice, leading to discrimination against gay ministers
and gay candidate ministers. A literature study on prejudice and discrimination revealed
many of the negative impacts these have on people on the margins of society.
A literature review on gay marriages suggested that gay unions and gay marriages were
known from pre-modern times. With the changing of the socio-political climates since
pre-modern times till today, attitudes towards gay unions/marriages seemed to havethat the Bible does not categorically say anything about committed, monogamous gay
unions or gay marriages.
The focus of this research was to determine the impacts of the Resolution on gay
ministers and gay candidate ministers. From their stories certain themes revealing the
impacts were co-constructed by the co-researchers and the researcher. According to a
negotiated meaning-making process a fragile and incomplete understanding of the gay
ministers’ and gay candidate ministers’ immense suffering due to their experience of
rejection and humiliation by the DRC was formulated. This reiterated the Shame of
being gay. In terms of the discrimination levelled against gay ministers, it could,
according to the Constitution of South Africa, be regarded as fair. This research
suggested that the fairness of the discrimination should be revisited.
changed. A study of the biblical texts led to the tentative and incomplete understanding