Archbishop Desmond Tutu: God weeps when he witnesses homophobia

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Archbishop Desmond Tutu has said that he “didn’t choose” to become a defender of gay rights, but that God urges people to “live amicably” and reject homophobia.

Archbishop Tutu, 82, has previously compared anti-gay laws to the Apartheid discrimination in South Africa which he fought to bring to an end.

Asked by Ann Curry of NBC News why he chose the issue of gay rights as the basis for his campaigning, he answered: “I didn’t choose it, it chose me.

“It’s not a choice; I mean, you don’t say, ‘I choose to be white’. It’s a given. You don’t choose your sexual orientation.”

The former Archbishop of Cape Town and Nobel Prize winner emphasised his position, which he stated last year, that he would refuse to go to a homophobic heaven.

He said: “I am absolutely, utterly and completely certain that god wouldn’t be homophobic. I really would much rather go to hell than go to a homophobic heaven.”

He dismissed claims that the Bible can be used to attack homosexuality, saying: “The Bible says quite a lot of things, many of which I do not accept at all. The Bible is… the word of God, but it is the word of God through the words of human beings.”

He finished by saying: “God sits there and weeps, because God is saying, ‘Do you know what? You’re all my children. You’re all members of one family, my family. And, when are you going to learn to live amicably together?’”

Last week, Archbishop Tutu also spoke in favour of the legalisation of assisted dying in the UK. He said: “I see no sanctity in suffering, nothing holy about agony.”

He made the comments in South Africa where, last month, the Minister of Justice vowed to protect LGBT rights despite his personal religious beliefs against homosexuality.