Desmond Tutu says love of gays can fight HIV

Archbishop and 80-year-old South African activist says homosexuality must be decriminalized everywhere

Desmond Tutu says love of gays can fight HIV
20 July 2012 Print This Article

Archbishop Desmond Tutu is calling for homosexuality to be decriminalized everywhere in an effort to fight HIV.

The South African activist says we must show ‘love and acceptance’ of gay people as the death tolls rise.

Tutu said anti-gay laws would be seen as wrong as the apartheid laws are now, and said both were a crime against God.

Writing in The Lancet, the 80-year-old said: ‘For I know in my heart, I know as all faith traditions teach, that there are no inferior people in his eyes.

‘No one deserves less of God’s love, less of his mercy, or less of his justice.’

The patron of the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation, based in Cape Town, said the country has a long way to go in providing HIV care.

He said: ‘LGBT people already have God’s full love and acceptance—they are his children too. But they need our acceptance, our love.

‘And to the extent that legal discrimination, those old laws and statutes that make them inferior still exist, it is up to all to work to change those laws.’

While South Africa may legally be the most progressive country in the continent on gay rights, this is under threat.

On the anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s birthday, activists called for the African National Congress to stand up against the hatred and violence in the country.

In the last two months alone, there have been five confirmed and five unconfirmed murders of LGBT people.

Junior Mayema, a LGBT activist from group People Against Suffering Oppression and Poverty, told Gay Star News it was because people are treating gays as a convenient scapegoat for their anger.

He said: ‘It is just very sad; people are so illiterate, uneducated, and on drugs. They don’t know anything about their constitution or they just don’t have time to even read it. That is why they are targeting us because they don’t believe in human rights for all.’

Ndumie Funda, founder of Luleki Sizwe, a community based group that delivers help to lesbian victims of homophobic attacks and rape, said she would put pressure on the ‘so called government.’

She said: ‘LGBTI people! We need to unite and put differences aside, honestly, especially the organisations. We can’t life the life of ‘who comes next’.’

Genevieve Edwards, Director of Health Improvement at British HIV charity Terrence Higgins Trust, said Tutu’s words are both moving and heartening.

‘If you spend your life being told you are a second class citizen, you have less motivation to take care of yourself and you’re more likely to take risks with your health,’ she said.

Tutu ended his comments by saying ‘God loves you as you are.’

He said: ‘He wants you to live and to thrive. So please take care of yourself, educate yourself about HIV, protect your partners, honor and cherish them.

‘And never let anyone make you feel inferior for being who you are. When you live the life you were meant to live, in freedom and dignity, you put a smile on God’s face.’



No thumbnail available

Singapore Christians rally for battle against repeal of anti-gay law

Attorney-General warns of risk of prejudice to court cases if heated public debate continues
No thumbnail available

Chocolate raises the bar on guilty pleasures

Cadbury Dairy Milk Bubbly, a new chocolate that has us melting
No thumbnail available

Where are the gays in People Magazine's Hottest Bachelors issue?

Such famously single gays as Adam Lambert and Ricky Martin are not included in very heterosexual issue
No thumbnail available

Man robbed and tied up for six hours

An Australian man was bound and robbed by a day-release psychiatric patient after meeting online
No thumbnail available

Could Rosie O'Donnell be returning to The View?

Former co-host is reportedly in talks to rejoin ABC talk show seven years after her very fiery exit
No thumbnail available

Philadelphia man murdered after Grindr meet up

25-year-old Dino Dizdarević was discovered strangled in a car lot in Chester, Pennsylvania last Thursday and police are concerned that he may have met his killer through a hook up app
No thumbnail available

Laverne Cox becomes first trans actress to be nominated for an Emmy

Gets supporting actress nod for performance in Orange is the New Black
No thumbnail available

11 companies making waves for LGBTIs in Asia

Find out what it takes to be shortlisted for an Asia LGBT Milestone Award
No thumbnail available

Gay kings, coal miners, whisky, waterfalls and bike riding in the valleys of South Wales

GSN jumps on a bike to tour mining country and discovers an unexpected world of adventure
No thumbnail available

Colorado civil unions bill heading to full House for vote

Clears third and final committee hurdle in bipartisan 9-4 vote