Desmond Tutu's reverend daughter chooses lesbian marriage over priesthood

The former Anglican archbishop Desmond Tutu poses for a photograph after an interview with Reuters in New Delhi Nov. 7, 2013. | Reuters/Anindito Mukherjee

Mpho Tutu van Furth, the reverend daughter of the South African Nobel peace prize winner and rights champion, Desmond Tutu, was well aware that she could be losing her priesthood license if she married her woman partner. She decided to marry her, anyway.

"The choice was I can be priest or I can be with the person I love and I don't get to have both," Tutu van Furth shared in an interview with BBC released on Thursday, June 9.

She explained that her decision was simply a matter of choosing love.

"Everything else will fall into place somehow. When in doubt, just do the most loving thing," she advised.

In a marriage she described as much like her coming out party, she married Marceline van Furth, a Dutch atheist academic, in a private civil ceremony in the Netherlands in December followed by last month's public celebration at a vineyard in Franschhoek near Cape Town.

Claiming that her falling in love with a woman came also as a surprise to her, Tutu van Furth conceded to being labelled as a bisexual — if needed. She was formerly married to a man whom she had two children with. Her daughters, Tutu van Furth shared, are adjusting just "like any family that goes through a reconfiguration."

However, the South African Anglican church are not as supportive of the union as she obliged to hand back her license. Tutu van Furth admitted that she was incredibly saddened by this but added that she's also received an incredible outpouring of support in her country.

She also noted that Charlotte Bannister-Parker, the British clergywoman who officiated their ceremony at Franschhoek "has been subject to horrific attacks" mostly coming "from other parts of Africa, and from the UK surprisingly enough."

"You can pray with a rapist, a murderer, a torturer — but heaven forbid that you pray with two people in love," she said, as quoted by The Guardian.

Tutu van Furth is hoping that the church will recognize the need for a "theological conversation about the nature of marriage" just as her father before her, who championed the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals, claimed that he does not worship a homophobic God and would refuse to go to heaven if God is homophobic.