the awesome

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Gay Rights Champion, Exits Public Life

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the South African who led both religious and secular fights against apartheid, is retiring from public life as he celebrates his 79th birthday. The announcement isn’t unexpected; he said earlier this year he was planning an exit from the world stage. Tutu hasn’t just been a leading voice on race relations, but all human rights: He’s long opposed laws criminalizing homosexuality and championed efforts to fight HIV/AIDS. And Tutu never drew a distinction between The Gays and the pious: “To penalize someone because of their sexual orientation is like what used to happen to us; to be penalized for something which we could do nothing (about) — our ethnicity, our race,” Tutu told the BBC in 2007. “I would find it quite unacceptable to condemn, persecute a minority that has already been persecuted. If God, as they say, is homophobic, I wouldn’t worship that God.” Nor did Tutu ever consider it a reasonable option to engage pro-apartheid groups, because bigotry is bigotry, the same variety preached by groups like Focus On The Family, the National Organization for Marriage, and the LDS Church.