Tutu’s daughter barred from funeral role over gay marriage

LONDON – Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s daughter has been banned from attending a funeral at a church in England because she is married to a woman, the BBC reported on Friday.

Mpho Tutu van Furth, an Anglican priest ordained in the United States, has been asked to oversee the funeral of her godfather, Martin Kenyon.

The BBC reports that the Church of England has ruled that she cannot lead the service in a church. The Diocese of Hereford told the broadcaster that “advice has been given in line with current House of Commons guidance on same-sex marriage.”

The global Anglican Communion is divided over same-sex marriage. The Church of England only allows its clergy to join same-sex unions if they are single. The United States Episcopal Church allows clergy to preside over and conduct same-sex marriages.

Tutu van Furth told the BBC that the Church of England’s decision “seems really troubling and hurtful.”

The BBC reports that Thursday’s funeral service has been moved from the Church of Saint Michael and All Angels in Wentnor village to a nearby outdoor parade ground so that Tutu van Furth can preside.

Kenyon, who died September 7 at the age of 92, was a longtime friend of Desmond Tutu. South Africa’s anti-apartheid icon died in December at the age of 90.

In 2020, Kenyon was one of the first people in the world to be immunized against COVID-19 and his actual interview with CNN outside a London hospital went viral.

“I hope I don’t get the bloody bug now,” he said. “There’s no point in dying now that I’ve lived this long, right?”

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