Remarkable People

ID #5250

Desmond Tutu 8 Homosexuality and the Church.

He opposed Christian discrimination of homosexuals while suggesting that homosexual church leaders should remain celibate.

Commenting days after the 2003 election of Gene Robinson, an openly gay man, as a bishop in the Episcopal Church in the USA, Tutu said, "In our Church here in South Africa, that doesn't make a difference. We just say that at the moment, we believe that they should remain celibate and we don't see what the fuss is about." Tutu has remarked that it is sad the church is spending time disagreeing on sexual orientation "when we face so many devastating problems – poverty, HIV/AIDS, war and conflict".

Tutu has criticised attitudes to homosexuality within his own church, equating homophobia with racism. At a conference in Nairobi he stated that he is "deeply disturbed that in the face of some of the most horrendous problems facing Africa, we concentrate on 'what do I do in bed with whom'". In an interview with BBC in 2007, Tutu accused the church of being obsessed with homosexuality and declared: "If God, as they say, is homophobic, I wouldn't worship that God."

Tutu lent his name to the fight against homophobia in Africa and around the world. He stated at the launch of the book 'Sex, Love and Homophobia' that homophobia is a 'crime against humanity' and 'every bit as unjust' as apartheid. He added that "we struggled against apartheid in South Africa, supported by people the world over, because black people were being blamed and made to suffer for something we could do nothing about -- our very skins...It is the same with sexual orientation. It is a given."

In 2009 Tutu joined the "Africa for women's rights" campaign launched by The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), The African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies (ACDHRS), Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS), Women's Aid Collective (WACOL), Women in Law and Development in Africa (WILDAF), Women and Law in South Africa (WLSA) and hundreds of African human and women's rights organizations.

In 1994, Tutu said that he approved of artificial contraception and that abortion was acceptable in a number of situations, such as incest and rape. He specifically welcomed the aims of the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo.
Tutu was at the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. He is also a 'Climate Ally' in the 'tick tick tick Time for Climate Justice' campaign of the Global Humanitarian Forum. In 2009 joined the project "Soldiers of Peace", a movie against all wars and for a global peace.

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Last update: 2014-03-17 02:27
Author: Alan McIver
Revision: 1.3

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