Nobel laureate South Africa’s Archbishop Desmond Tutu has spoken out against anti-LGBTIQ+ laws and violence in Africa. He compared homophobic laws and violence to apartheid and also said he opposes both with equal fervour.
90-year-old Desmond Tutu has spent his life campaigning for human rights. He is the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.
In addition to advocating for universal suffrage, equal rights for women in the Anglican Church, and LGBTIQ+ rights, he was a strong opponent of apartheid in South Africa.
Archbishop Tutu made the statement in a video for the United Nations’ global campaign against homophobia and transphobia.
“I have to tell you, I cannot keep quiet when people are penalised for something about which they can do nothing.
“First, gender. When women are excluded, just simply and solely because they are women.’
He said he thought it even worse when he saw news of people “penalised, killed, all sorts of ghastly things happen to them, simply, solely on the basis of their sexual orientation.
“I oppose such injustice with the same passion that I opposed apartheid.”
Archbishop Desmond Tutu on anti-LGBTIQ+ laws
LGBT+ Rights Ghana, a human rights group in Ghana, recently shared the video online.
Despite laws already criminalising gay sex in Ghana, a proposed new bill will target LGBTIQ+ identity directly. The Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2021 will specifically criminalise lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, pansexual, non-binary, or any other sexual or gender identity. Even community allies will potentially fall foul of the law.
The Ghanaian government began public hearings on the bill earlier this month.
In the video, the Archbishop Emeritus called for an end to punishing people because of who they are or who they love, a message that is particularly relevant to the LGBTIQ+ community in Ghana.
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