Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu’s daughter, Reverend Canon Mpho Tutu got married to her long-time lesbian partner, Professor Marceline Furth in the Netherlands last week Wednesday.
According to Netherlands broadcaster Jeanette Chabalala of News24, the couple reportedly exchanged vows in a small private ceremony held in Oegstgeest, a town and municipality in the province of South Holland in western Netherlands. The couple is set to celebrate their wedding in Cape Town in May.
This may be a great surprise to many but will not be the same to some others who are well aware that her father, retired Bishop Desmond Tutu is a passionate gay rights activists, (just the same way he fought Apartheid), and is unreservedly against homophobia. A statement he made at the launch of a UN-backed Free and Equal campaign in Cape Town, South Africa to promote gay rights confirms this. Tutu says,
I would refuse to go to a homophobic heaven. No, I would say sorry, I mean I would much rather go to the other place,
I would not worship a God who is homophobic and that is how deeply I feel about this.”
Mpho is an ordained Episcopal priest and also the executive director and founder of the Tutu Institute for Prayer and Pilgrimage, Chairperson Emeritus of the board of the Global AIDS Alliance, Chairperson of the Board of Advisors of the 911 Unity Walk, and a Trustee of Angola University.
In 2010, she wrote a book about human goodness together with her father. The book is called Made for Goodness: And Why This Makes All the Difference. It discusses the scientific basis for the belief that all humans are good by nature.
Canon Tutu is the youngest daughter of Desmond Tutu, and she was once married to Joseph Burris with whom she had two daughters. This means that her present sexual relationship is a transformation: she hasn’t been gay from the word go.
Furth, on her own part is a professor in Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the Vrije University in Amsterdam and Tutu is currently the executive director of the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, and holds the Desmond Tutu Chair in Medicine at the university.
However, despite Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu’s stand on same-sex relationship/marriage, he is heterosexual and is married to Leah Tutu. He and his wife Leah recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary by renewing their vows at St. George’s Cathedral in Cape Town. Canon Mpho Tutu led part of the ceremony where the couple renewed their vows.