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“Free and Equal” campaign launched in South Africa

Archbishop Desmond Tutu and UN campaign for legal reforms and public education

Desmond Tutu Credit: Dale Frost

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay and Archbishop Desmond Tutu launched a new United Nations campaign for LGBT rights on the July 26 in Capetown, South Africa. The year-long “Free and Equal” campaign will advocate for legal reforms and public education on LGBT people.

“Changing attitudes is never easy. But it has happened on other issues and it is happening already in many parts of the world on this one,” Pillay said. “It begins with often difficult conversations. And that is what we want to do with this campaign. ‘Free & Equal’ will inspire millions of conversations among people around the world and across the ideological spectrum.”

In neighbouring Zimbabwe, on July 23, President Robert Mugabe demonstrated the struggles facing the UN campaign when he called gay people “worse than pigs and dogs” and said “we should cut off their heads.”

During the campaign launch, Tutu said he would chose hell over a homophobic heaven.

"I would not worship a God who is homophobic and that is how deeply I feel about this,” he said, according to the Washington Times. “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.”