The Advocate July/Aug 2022
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Desmond Tutu's Daughter Marries Woman, Booted From Church


The daughter of Desmond Tutu, South Africa's beloved civil rights activist and former Anglican archbishop, recently married her female partner — and paid a price for it.

Mpho Tutu-van Furth wed Marceline van Furth in a December ceremony in the Netherlands. Like her father, Tutu-van Furth is an Anglican cleric, but she says a South African priest who previously allowed her to officiate in his diocese was told to "revoke" her license after officials became aware of her wedding. When Tutu-van Furth discovered the church's plan, she returned her license instead of waiting for it to be taken. 

"Ironically,” Tutu-van Furth said in a statement, "coming from a past where difference was the instrument of division, it is our sameness that is now the cause of distress. My wife and I are both women."

Not everyone in the South African church condemned Tutu-van Furth — some went on record to support her, according to the U,K.'s Daily Telegraph.

South Africa enacted marriage equality a decade ago, but the Anglican Church continues to be divided over the issue of same-sex unions. The Episcopal Church, the U.S. branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion, supports same-sex marriages, but not all Anglican churches in other countries do. Tutu-van Furth remains a priest in good standing in the U.S., where she was ordained. Desmond Tutu, a longtime advocate for LGBT people and HIV causes, reportedly gave his blessing to his daughter's wedding. 

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