Gay rights champion Desmond Tutu cancels travel plans amid battle with cancer

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

A long-time supporter of gay rights Archbishop Desmond Tutu has cancelled travel plans as he battles prostate cancer.

The 83-year-old Nobel Peace prize winner posted to Twitter to thank followers “for the well wishes and concern”, as he announced that he had cancelled travel plans due to a reaction to treatment for his prostate.

He has had cancer for years, and said in the post that it is benign. Family members spoke out to say there was no crisis, and that he was staying at home until he had adjusted to his new medication.

Writing on Twitter, he thanked followers”for the well wishes and concern,” and on Facebook, he posted a message saying the cancer was “benign”.

“You may know I cancelled my trip to Rome for the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates due to a reaction to a new treatment for my prostate and strengthening my bones,” Tutu said in a statement posted Facebook.

“It is benign and these issues are par for the course.”

Tutu earlier this year compared Uganda’s new anti-gay law to Nazi and Apartheid discrimination.

Last year Archbishop Tutu said that he would rather go to hell than worship a homophobic God. “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. I am as passionate about this campaign as I ever was about Apartheid. For me, it is at the same level.”

The former Archbishop of Cape Town last year said that he fights for gay rights because “It’s God catching me by my neck.”