Retired archbishop Desmond Tutu would refuse to enter a homophobic heaven. Tutu added that he would never worship a homophobic God and would pick hell instead.
The comments were made during the United Nations’ launch of its gay-rights program in Cape Town, South Africa on Friday. And they leave no wiggle room to wonder what Tutu’s thoughts are on gay rights.
The former archbishop has long been a campaigner for gay rights, reports the BBC. But while South Africa allows same-sex relationships, homophobia runs deep. At the Free and Equal launch, Desmond Tutu asserted:
“I would refuse to go to a homophobic heaven. No, I would say sorry, I mean I would much rather go to the other place. I would not worship a God who is homophobic and that is how deeply I feel about this.”
Tutu, who retired as Archbishop of Cape Town in 1996, added that the campaign against homophobia in South Africa is much like the one against racism in the country. Along with saying he would refuse a homophobic heaven, Tutu explained, “I am as passionate about this campaign as I ever was about apartheid. For me, it is at the same level.”
AU News notes that same-sex relationships are illegal in more than one-third of the world. The act is punishable by death in five countries. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay added that South Africa has “some of the worst cases of homophobic violence,” even though same-sex relationships are legal.
The UN would like to push for gay rights to be recognized in countries where they are currently illegal. Pillay added, “I constantly hear governments tell me, ‘but this is our culture, out tradition and we can’t change it’… So we have lots of work to do.”
Desmond Tutu won the Nobel peace prize in 1984 for his work against apartheid in South Africa. Are you surprised Desmont Tutu would rather live in hell than a homophobic heaven?
[Image by Jmquez via Wikimedia Commons]