The daughter of one of the world’s leading Christians has quit the priesthood because her church would not recognise her same-sex marriage.
Desmond Tutu’s daughter, Reverend Mpho Tutu Van-Furth, said she had been forced to make the decision after marrying Dutch academic Marceline Furth in the Netherlands.
Tutu Van-Furth, who was first ordained as a minister in 2004 and has campaigned against homophobia and racism since she was a teenager, said: “Because the South African Anglican church does not recognise our marriage, I can no longer exercise my priestly ministry in South Africa.
“The bishop (of Cape Town) was instructed to revoke my licence. I decided that I would give it to him rather than have him take it.”
Same-sex marriage has been legal in South Africa since 2006, but the Anglican church there is deeply split. The church officially affirms: “Holy matrimony is the lifelong and exclusive union between one man and one woman.”
Desmond Tutu, who was Archbishop of Cape Town and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his campaign against Apartheid, is a supporter of same-sex marriage and has long spoken out against homophobia.
After the Netherlands wedding, the happy couple, who are both divorced and have children, held a second ceremony at a vineyard owned by Richard Branson in Franschhoek.
At the ceremony, Desmond Tutu was permitted to give the couple a “father’s blessing”.