Daughter Desmond Tutu ‘banned’ from Church of England funeral for marrying wife

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The daughter of the late Desmond Tutu has reportedly been banned by the Church of England from conducting her godfather’s funeral because she is married to a woman.

Mpho Tutu van Furth, a practicing Anglican priest in the US, was asked to conduct Thursday’s funeral in Shropshire.

In a statement from the UKTN, the Diocese of Hereford said: “The advice was given in accordance with current House of Bishops guidelines on same-sex marriage.”

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Ms Tutu van Furth reportedly told the broadcaster that the decision “seemed very rude and hurtful”, and the diocese described it as “a difficult situation”.

The Church of England does not allow same-sex marriage in its clergy, but the Episcopal Church in the US – of which Mrs. Tutu van Furth is a member – does.

Her license as a priest was revoked in South Africa when she revealed her sexuality and married Marceline van Furth, a Dutch academic, in 2015.

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Desmond Tutu, who died in December 2021, won the Nobel Peace Prize in the 1980s for his work fighting apartheid in South Africa.

He also defended gay rights and campaigned for same-sex marriage.

In 2013, he said, “I would refuse to go to a homophobic heaven. No, I’m sorry, I mean, I’d much rather go to the other place.

“I wouldn’t worship a God who is homophobic and that’s how deeply I feel about this… I’m as passionate about this campaign as I’ve ever been about apartheid. For me, it’s on the same level.”

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