One of late Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s daughters, Mpho Tutu van Furth, has been barred from presiding over her godfather’s funeral because she is married to another woman.
According to Voice of America, Mpho was invited to officiate the funeral of former British Army officer Martin Kenyon, who passed away in London at the age of 92.
Shropshire Star reports that Kenyon passed away on Wednesday 7 September. His daughter, Nina, said Kenyon had specially requested Mpho to officiate his funeral. The 92-year-old met Desmond Tutu while he was studying at King’s College London and they remained friends.
ALSO READ: ‘I would not worship a God who is homophobic’: Tutu’s LGBTQI+ fight
DESMOND TUTU’S DAUGHTER BARRED FROM CHURCH OF ENGLAND
Mpho Tutu van Furth’s wife, Marceline, expressed that the church told them it accepts same-sex relationships, but not if they are married. Marceline told Voice of America that the church was “homophobic” for not allowing Mpho to preside over their family friend’s funeral.
“She fell in love with me and then she had the courage to marry me and then she can’t be the person she is as a priest and that’s… I don’t understand that,” said Marceline.
“She had to hand in her licence and now this is the second time that I’m aware of, of course small things also happened, but that she can’t do something out of love for her godfather and for the family just because of the same-sex marriage and that’s something that upsets me.”
Marceline added that the Tutu family had always been welcoming to her and that she is going to take action for Mpho.
CAPE TOWN ARCHBISHOP STEPS IN
Archbishop of Cape Town, Thabo Makgoba, who was close to the Tutu family, said he would also be speaking to Mpho about the matter.
“I will reach out to Mpho and find the context, but as the Anglican Church, we remain divided on that particular matter.”
Mpho married Marceline in 2015 and there was controversy surrounding the union. Although her parents were supportive of her marriage, The Diocese of Saldanha Bay withdrew her licence as a priest.
ALSO READ: Suicide shock: Calls for national policy to protect LGBTQI+ pupils
DESMOND TUTU’S FIGHT FOR THE LGBTQI+ COMMUNITY
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, passed away on Sunday 26 December at the Oasis Frail Care Centre at 90 years old. The archbishop expressed his support for the LGBTQI+ community dating as far back as 1994.
He was quoted in Aliens in the Household of God: Homosexuality and the Christian Faith in South Africa as saying:
“If the church, after the victory over apartheid is looking for a worthy moral crusade, then this is it: the fight against homophobia and heterosexism.”