Archbishop Desmond Tutu died on Sunday
in Cape Town, South Africa. He was 90.
A tireless human rights advocate, Tutu
had been in ill health for years, according to CNN.
For six decades, Tutu was outspoken
about ending apartheid – South Africa's policy of racial
segregation. The policy ended in the early 90s.
In 1984, Tutu was awarded the Nobel
Peace Prize for his work speaking out against apartheid.
Former President Barack Obama in 2009
awarded Tutu the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his human rights
Tutu also advocated for greater LGBTQ
rights, including calling on nations to decriminalize gay sex.
In several interviews, Tutu said that
God had commanded him to speak out on LGBTQ rights.
“It isn't that it's questionable when
you speak up for the right of people with different sexual
orientation,” he told Religious
News Service. “People took some part of us and used it to
discriminate against us. In our case, it was our ethnicity; it's
precisely the same thing for sexual orientation. People are killed
because they're gay. I don't think, 'What do I want to do today? I
want to speak up on gay rights.' No. It's God catching me by my neck.
I wish I could keep quiet about the plight of the Palestinians. I
can't! The God who was there and showed that we should become free is
the God described in the Scriptures as the same yesterday, today and
In 2013, Tutu appeared in a video for
the United Nation's Free & Equal campaign. He told viewers that
he could not keep quiet about anti-LGBTQ discrimination.
“I oppose such injustice with the
same passion that I opposed apartheid,” he said in the spot.