“Because the South African Anglican Church does not recognize our marriage, I can no longer exercise my priestly ministry in South Africa.” Those were the words of Reverend Canon Mpho Tutu as she divulged that her licence to preach is being revoked because she married a she.
As culled from a City Press report, Tutu said her husband – no, wife – right? Lets just say partner. She said she and her partner are on honeymoon at the Indian Ocean island of Bali. And, that she has decided to give up her ministerial duties.
“The South African Anglican Church does not recognize our marriage,” she said. “I can no longer exercise my priestly ministry in South Africa…The bishop of the Diocese of Saldanha Bay (Bishop Raphael Hess) was instructed to revoke my licence.
I decided that I would give it to him rather than have him take it, a slightly more dignified option with the same effect,” she related.
Reverend Canon Mpho said it’s ironic that South Africa which segregated people for being different is now failing to integrate the sameness of same-sex marriage.
“Ironically, 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.
(We) meet across almost every dimension of difference. Some of our differences are obvious; she is tall and white, I am black and vertically challenged. Some of our differences are not apparent at a glance; she is Dutch and an atheist, I am South African and a priest in the Episcopal/Anglican Church.”
She said they have been confronted with gender stereotypes exasperated with questions like – “who’s the man in the relationship?”
“We have decided that we will both be the woman in the relationship. We meet as mutually respectful equals who enjoy working together,” Mpho declared.