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Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

Desmond Tutu’s Daughter Chooses Same-Sex Marriage over Ministry

  • Veronica Neffinger
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2016 May 24
  • Comments

The daughter of Desmond Tutu, the former Archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa, has relinquished her ministry position in favor of her same-sex marriage.


According to, Rev. Mpho Tutu-Van Furth faced disciplinary measures from her Anglican church due to her marriage to a woman.


"Because the South African Anglican Church does not recognise our marriage, I can no longer exercise my priestly ministry in South Africa. The bishop of the diocese was instructed to revoke my licence. I decided that I would give it to him rather than have him take it,” stated Tutu-Van Furth.


Bishop Raphael Hess, who received Tutu-Van Furth’s resignation, told The Telegraph he was “vexed” by the situation and that he personally sympathized with Tutu Van-Furth, but had to follow Church law.


"The time has come for us to exercise pastoral care, for us to demonstrate a shift that is reflected in the law," he said. "We would be able to have Rev Canon Tutu be able to minister. At the moment she cannot and she has accepted that but we are hoping that there might be a window for us to change it."


South Africa legalized same-sex marriage in 2006 and the South African Anglican Church is more lenient toward same-sex marriage than some other branches of the Anglican Church.


The differing views on the issue of same-sex marriage is a topic that threatens to create a schism within the Anglican Communion.


Canon Tutu married atheist Marceline Van Furth in the Netherlands in December. Desmond Tutu attended a second ceremony for the couple in South Africa at which he bestowed a “father’s blessing” on them.



Publication date: May 24, 2016