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South African LGBTQ Group Says Homophobe Is Cruising Grindr for Sex

Christiaan Otto
Christiaan Otto

Christiaan Otto, under fire for homophobic and transphobic posts on social media, says the alleged Grindr account is a fake.

A South African LGBTQ group alleges that Christiaan Otto, an anti-LGBTQ Johannesburg resident who claimed the current health crisis is a punishment from God, has been cruising for sex with men on Grindr.

The group Expose Christiaan Otto shared screenshots on Facebook of what it said was Otto's Grindr account, with messages in the Afrikaans language and what appeared to be a selfie of a shirtless Otto. One message translates as "I thought I could trust you dude. You say you deleted the Grindr chats. What are you trying to do? Delete and block me!"

Otto, the subject of complaints to South Africa's Human Rights Commission about his homophobic rants, denied he has ever had a Grindr account and said his critics are trying to make him look bad. "All they are doing is creating falsehood against me," he told South African LGBTQ publication MambaOnline last week. "They just took old photos off of my Facebook account and they created this profile. It's not rocket science." He also said, "I thought Grindr was something that you cut metal with."

At least one Grindr account purported to be Otto's has now been deleted, according to the Expose Christian Otto Facebook page, but some commenters claimed he has multiple accounts.

Otto, who is not a professional activist but manages a gold mine, has condemned homosexuality and transgender identity in numerous social media posts over the past few years. He has called homosexuality a sin and a mental illness, and said Caitlyn Jenner "is delusional and needs help." This month he shared pictures of Pride parades and commented, "Covid-19 virus is God's judgment on a godless world," MambaOnline reports. His posts are now unavailable.

The Rainbow Network, the LGBTQ caucus within the Democratic Alliance, a South African political party, has filed a complaint with the Human Rights Commission. Party member Kade Guerreiro issued a statement Friday, saying that while the Democratic Alliance respects freedom of speech and religion, "We must, in no uncertain terms, condemn the use of religious freedom as a defence against bigotry, discrimination and hate speech."

"Otto's remarks are shamelessly inflammatory and homophobic, and are particularly dangerous at a time when, in addition to the monumental battle against discrimination and social abuse, the LGBTIQ community stands with the rest of our country, as we face a distressing and uncertain battle against the Covid-19 pandemic," Guerreiro added, according to MambaOnline.

Marco Du Plessis, a therapist from Pretoria, has also submitted a complaint. "People are in a distressed mental state due to the lockdown, and abuse like this is putting LGBT youth more at risk for mental health issues and possible suicide," he told MambaOnline.

Otto responded by telling the publication he is "a God-fearing Bible-believing Christian," adding, "I do not force my beliefs down any persons' throats, but I do have the religious freedom to share mine just as the LGBTQ movement have the right to share theirs. They have their own truth and I have mine, but we should respect each other in both of our truths."

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