Desmond Tutu's Daughter Leaves Church Over Gay Marriage

Reverend Mpho Tutu-Van Furth married a woman in December
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted May 24, 2016 4:04 PM CDT
Desmond Tutu's Daughter Leaves Church Over Gay Marriage
Reverend Mpho Tutu-Van Furth, daughter of Desmond Tutu, is leaving the priesthood after marrying a woman in December.   (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)

The daughter of Africa's most famous archbishop is leaving the priesthood over her marriage to a woman. The Washington Post reports Reverend Mpho Tutu-Van Furth, daughter of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Desmond Tutu, married Marceline Furth in December. Same-sex marriage was legalized in South Africa in 2006, but the South African Anglican Church still defines marriage as between a man and a woman, according to the Independent. Tutu-Van Furth tells City Press that the church was going to take away her license to preach, so she decided to quit instead. She calls it "a slightly more dignified option with the same effect.”

As the daughter of one of the leading voices against apartheid, Tutu-Van Furth finds her situation ironic. "Coming from a past where difference was the instrument of division, it is our sameness that is now the cause of distress," she tells City Press. "My wife and I are both women." The South African Anglican Church plans to debate changing its position on same-sex marriage within the next year. In the meantime, Tutu-Van Furth maintains her priesthood in the American Episcopal Church. Her father has called homophobia "the same level" of problem as apartheid. “I would refuse to go to a homophobic heaven," the Post quotes Desmond Tutu as saying. "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." (Read more Desmond Tutu stories.)

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