They discovered the commission was going ahead with its case on Monday. “Had they addressed the incident in 2017, we [Megan and Sasha] and the number of other couples turned away by the venue would never have suffered the unfair discrimination and humiliation.”
Beloftebos, meanwhile, said in a statement on Monday that it had not been served court papers and learnt about the equality court action via the media.
“Beloftebos’ decision not to organise and host same-sex weddings is because of the owners’ deeply held religious convictions that marriage is a sacred covenant between a man and a woman in the presence of God, as well as a symbolic picture of the love and commitment between Christ [as the bridegroom] and his church [the bride]," said their legal representative, Daniela Ellerbeck.
“They welcome everyone equally to their venue and would happily organise a birthday party, an office year-end celebration or any similar event for a same-sex couple,” said Ellerbeck.
The owners, through their legal team, indicated that they had been exercising their constitutional right to religious freedom and belief.
The venue said if the matter proceeded to court, it would abide by the outcome.
However, “if the court decides against Beloftebos and forces them to participate in and celebrate events that violate their conscience, religion and belief, then every supplier of goods and service provider in SA will equally be forced to accept work that they may fundamentally disagree with”, said Ellerbeck.
The SAHRC has been approached for comment on the couple's criticism. This article will be updated when the response is received.