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March 29, 2016

Couple meets Archbishop Tutu on 21st Anniversary Trip

tutuAn anniversary is always a special time for couples but for Steve Ludlow and Geoffrey Taylor their 21st proved to be particularly memorable.

The pair, who live in Station Road, Henley, were in South Africa to renew their vows when they were introduced to Desmond Tutu, the 85-year-old retired Anglican bishop and human rights campaigner, while making arrangements for the ceremony.

The men first met at St George’s Cathedral in Cape Town on March 6, 1995, so they returned to celebrate.

Steve, 59, says: “We explained in an email what we wanted to do.”

“We met in the cathedral in 1995 and obviously life has moved on a great deal since then. Who would have thought we could marry each other?”

“We went down to the cafe to meet the dean and there was Desmond Tutu, who needs no introduction.”

“I’m fairly mouthy at the best of times but I was thunderstruck because I couldn’t believe I was being introduced to this elder statesman.”

“Who would believe two guys from Henley would get to meet someone like that? We sat down and had a chat, which was mind-blowing. We talked about the fact Geoffrey and I had met in the cathedral 21 years before and we told him about where we lived and what we wanted to do and he said all that sounded fine by him.”

“His daughter married her female partner in Amsterdam not too long ago.”

“He said ‘unfortunately, I’m away, otherwise I’d come along!’ I think he understood how we felt, what we wanted to do and why St George’s is such a special place to us. You don’t usually expect to find a husband in a cathedral! He said ‘the cathedral is about bringing people together’.”

“I’ve never, ever met anyone like that. People say ‘did you have a good holiday?’ and we reply ‘we’ve only got the one photo’ and when they say ‘what a shame’ we show it to them and they say ‘oh, wow’.”

The couple had a civil ceremony at Henley Registry Office in 2009 and last year were married there.

Source: Henley Standard

February 23, 2016

Desmond Tutu, the Anglican Church, and Ending Discrimination of LGBTI People

This article originally appeared on Medium.com

“I would not worship a God who is homophobic and that is how deeply I feel about this. I am as passionate about this campaign as I ever was about Apartheid. For me, it is at the same level.” — Desmond Tutu

At the end of 2015, the Reverend Canon Mpho Tutu, Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s youngest daughter, married her partner Professor Marceline van Furth. The event was a small civil ceremony held in the home of van Furth’s parents in The Netherlands. For those of us in North America and Europe, the news was received with joyous celebration, and congratulatory messages poured out from luminaries across the globe.


But in some circles, the news was not quite so positive. Particularly in parts of Africa and the Middle East, a stream of hatred and negativity came pouring in, directed not just at the couple, but toward the Archbishop, various Read More