Archbishop Desmond Tutu has compared elements of Uganda's proposed anti-gay bill to apartheid.

The 81-year-old retired Anglican bishop who gained notoriety speaking out against apartheid penned an op-ed arguing against passage of the measure which would increase the penalties for being gay and having gay sex in a nation where it is already punishable by up to life in prison.

“One thing that Ugandan legislators should know is that God does not discriminate among members of our family,” Tutu wrote in the Daily Monitor. “God does not say black is better than white, or tall is better than short, or football players are better than basketball players, or Christians are better than Muslims … or gay is better than straight. No. God says love one another; love your neighbour. God is for freedom, equality and love.”

“People have over many centuries devised all kinds of terrible instruments to oppress other people. Usually, they have rationalised their awful actions on the basis of their belief in their own superiority, in their culture, in their spiritual beliefs, in their skin-colour. Thus, they argue, they are justified to hate and bomb and maim the 'other.'”

“The Anti-Homosexuality legislation now under consideration in Uganda is just such an instrument. Nelson Mandela said, 'No one is born hating another person.' If people are taught and can learn to hate, they can learn to love.”

“[T]he depiction of members of the LGBTI community as crazed and depraved monsters threatening the welfare of children and families is simply untrue, and is reminiscent of what we experienced under apartheid and what the Jews experienced at the hands of the Nazis.”

“To those who claim that homosexuality is not part of our African culture, you are conveniently ignoring the fact that LGBTI Africans have lived peacefully and productively beside us throughout history.”