Desmond Tutu: “LGBT People Are a Part of Every Human Community”

Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa has long championed LGBT rights both within Africa and the world over. This week, Tutu reaffirmed his commitment to the affirmation of LGBT rights when he demanded that homosexuality be decriminalized everywhere in the world. His call for decriminalization was also a plea to help the fight against HIV and AIDS.

Tutu wrote a column in The Lancet this week to address the issue of HIV prevention and the often overwhelming stigma of being gay in Africa. Pink News quotes the letter:

They also tell us what we each already know, if we are prepared to be honest with ourselves—that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people are a part of every human community.

The Archbishop added that laws aimed at criminalizing the LGBT community are simply wrong and that hindsight will reveal how biased and discriminatory these statutes are. In his own words:

I have no doubt that in the future, the laws that criminalise so many forms of human love and commitment will look the way the apartheid laws do to us now—so obviously wrong. Such a terrible waste of human potential… 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.

The inspirational and bold statements are part of a larger campaign by Archbishop Tutu to spread awareness about the prevention and treatment of HIV. He heads the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation, which provides treatment for the virus and also conducts research, the BBC reports.

Archbishop Tutu’s letter was published the same week as protests filled the streets of Johannesburg during the commemoration of Nelson Mandela’s 94th birthday. The protest was aimed at raising awareness about anti-LGBT activity in South Africa. At least five brutal anti-LGBT murders have occurred in the area within the last two months. There are probably another half dozen anti-gay murders that have gone under the radar, Queerty reports.

The LGBT community still faces an uphill battle in the South African context. Many protesters worry that authorities are indifferent to the anti-gay crimes that riddle the country. The Archbishop’s words have at least called on leadership to reconsider their stance on these issues and to demand change.

Related Stories:

25 Percent of Adults in Botswana Have HIV, But That Number May be Changing

Rebels in Citizens Face Off in Mali

Cartoons Ruffle South African President

Photo Credit: World Economic Forum


Dale Overall

So pleased to see that Desmond Tutu has wisdom, charity and a non-judgemental belief that we are all humans, equal and should live in freedom unfettered by judgement and hate.

Has Kath N been imbibing a wee too often in sacramental whine? She states that Desmond Tutu is a brother of Satan, worshiping him. Intriguing. Where do people come up with such ignorance and hate? Spewing forth her inaccurate and ridiculous rants one would think that she recently had a lobotomy. Her words are hardly that of a Christian.

Jane H.
Jane H5 years ago

Tutu is a hero and spiritual superman.

s. r.
p. q5 years ago

golly. i had no idea there are so many people who hate bishop tutu. i've read a couple of his books about apartheid. he honestly seems like one of the wisest and most compassionate human beings out there.

but. i guess some people are threatened by that.

the world is strange.

Annatjie Kruger
Annatjie Kruger5 years ago

Sorry Bishop Tutu, but the only way you can put a smile on God's Face is by accepting Christ as your Savior, turn form your sinful ways and live your life according to His Will as set out for you in His Holy Bible. That includes to abstain from homo sexual relationships. To decriminalize LGBT relationships is not going to stop or prevent AIDS/HIV. This is just another example of old men living in cookoo land. Abstinence from all sexual relationships outside the marriage and the stopping of rape will. In Africa grown men with HIV rape small girls (sometimes) babies, because sangomas told them that they will be cured if the have intercourse with a virgin.

Muriel C.
Muriel C5 years ago

Nyack C. According to the old Jewish legends, a twin sister/spouse was born with each of them. Furthermore, those legend also mention that Adam had a 1st wife (who left him).
We actually don't know how many daughters Adam and Eve had since, all through the "begat", no girl is mentioned. Not until Exodus are daughters mentioned by name and given any importance.
Don't be so harsh: all cultures have creation myths and Genesis is far from the least logical. After all, science confirms its version of the order in which things came to be and, while stretching the imagination, the Jewish rationale for the uniqueness of the 1st couple is that it prevents any man from considering himself superior to others (good social construct, if one is to avoid injustice withing the group).
My take of Genesis? Legends which, as all legends, contains a nugget of truth and offer a decent tribal identity to the group.

Norma V.
Norma Villarreal5 years ago


Anita Wisch
Anita Wisch5 years ago

Love thy brother and sister........ We are all made in God's image.

Muriel C.
Muriel C5 years ago

Kath N, you need to be less hateful, that's what is giving you ulcers and the delusion that you are entitled to judge others for what they are rather than what they do.

Elaine, since you're a Bible scholar, do please explain to me how, if the original sin is sex, were Adam and Eve supposed to obey the commandment of growing and multiplying given to them BEFORE they sinned.
I know that their kids were born after the sin, but the commandment to make them came before Eve met the snake

Lynda Duke
Lynda Duke5 years ago

For all the Homophobe Christianistas - Read the NEW TESTAMENT - the teachings of Jesus Christ (Christianity was named after him ).

"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another."--------------------John 13:34

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye." -------------------Matthew 7:1-29

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets." ---------------------------Matthew 7:1-29

If the "CHRISTIANS" can't do this, then you are NOT CHRISTIANS - you're really just a bunch of facists!

Lynda Duke
Lynda Duke5 years ago

NO, Desmond TUTU does not believe he is God, but he is a man of God. And he's a GOOD man. I respect the man, and his opinions do count in this world. Thank you Mr. Tutu, you are truly a man among men!