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Desmond Tutu: “In Africa, a step backward on human rights”

Hate has no place in the house of God, says Archbishop Desmond Tutu in this morning’s Washington Post. The South African bishop speaks out against a recent wave of anti-homosexual measures in Africa. FRIDAY, 12th MARCH, 2010

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“No one should be excluded from our love, our compassion or our concern because of race or gender, faith or ethnicity -- or because of their sexual orientation,” says Archbishop Desmond Tutu in this morning’s Washington Post.
 
“Uganda's parliament is debating legislation that would make homosexuality punishable by life imprisonment, and more discriminatory legislation has been debated in Rwanda and Burundi. “
 
“These are terrible backward steps for human rights in Africa...Our lesbian and gay brothers and sisters across Africa are living in fear. And they are living in hiding -- away from care, away from the protection the state should offer to every citizen and away from health care in the AIDS era,” he says.
 
“"But they are sinners," I can hear the preachers and politicians say.Tutu concludes, "They are choosing a life of sin for which they must be punished." My scientist and medical friends have shared with me a reality that so many gay people have confirmed, I now know it in my heart to be true. No one chooses to be gay. Sexual orientation, like skin color, is another feature of our diversity as a human family. Isn't it amazing that we are all made in God's image, and yet there is so much diversity among his people? Does God love his dark- or his light-skinned children less? The brave more than the timid? And does any of us know the mind of God so well that we can decide for him who is included, and who is excluded, from the circle of his love?... The wave of hate must stop.”
 
Other stories in today’s international papers:
 
International Herald Tribune: “Nigerian’s recount a night of fury”
 
New York Daily News: “Holy See's chief exorcist about abuse charges in Catholic Church: Satan is at work inside Vatican”
 
Times Online:  “Chief exorcist Father Gabriele Amorth says Devil is in the Vatican”
 
Times Online: Sarkozy and Bruni rumours

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