CAPE TOWN — During a news conference introducing a United Nations homosexual rights campaign, former African Angelican archbishop and anti-apartheid activist Desmond Tutu told reporters that he would rather go to Hell than a “homophobic Heaven.”
“I would refuse to go to a homophobic Heaven. No, I would say, ‘Sorry, I would much rather go to the other place,’” Tutu, 81, stated. “I would not worship a God who is homophobic and that is how deeply I feel about this.”
He made the comments Friday at a news conference for the UN’s “Free and Equal” campaign in Cape Town, South Africa, which was spearheaded by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. The campaign seeks to gain equality for homosexuals worldwide, including in Africa, where most nations oppose or criminalize sexual activity between those of the same gender.
“I am as passionate about this campaign as I ever was about apartheid,” Tutu said. “For me, it is at the same level.”
The former Angelican leader was joined by human rights Commissioner Navi Pillay and Justice Edwin Cameron.
“A campaign like this is critical right now because of the enormous human rights violations suffered by LGBT people,” Pillay said. “In more than a third of the world, consensual same-sex conduct remains a criminal offense.”
“This campaign is timely; it is essential,” asserted Cameron. “May it become a source of light. May it become a source of rejoicing. May it become a source of self-identification and a claiming of humanity … because in denying [homosexuals] humanity, you deny your own.”
However, as previously reported, some African leaders view homosexuality as being destructive to their nation, and both Christians and Muslims alike have spoken out against legalizing sexual contact between those of the same sex.
“Speaker, we cannot sit back while such [a] destructive phenomenon is taking place in our nation,” stated a petition presented to Parliament Speaker Rebecca Kadaga of Uganda last year. “We therefore, as responsible citizens, feel duty-bound to bring this matter to your attention as the leader of Parliament … so that lawmakers can do something to quickly address the deteriorating situation in our nation.”
As the country has been working on legislation to ban homosexual conduct, some note that the greatest opposition has not been from the Ugandan people, but from the international community.
“The bill has indeed experienced the greatest fight from mostly international governments that have allowed their morals to decay and eventually erode away in disguise of ‘human rights,'” Restore Uganda Director Okumu Yudah Tadeo told Christian News Network. “According to Uganda’s cultural and religious values that have helped to keep morals in the country, it is in Uganda’s best interest to keep up the good morals and Godly values in this generation and the generations to come.”
“[T]his situation is very similar to what Paul says in Romans 1:24-31,” he continued, quoting from Scripture, “Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. … Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way, the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.”
Photo: Dale Frost