Remarks by Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu at the 2011 RFK Human Rights Award Ceremony
When God created the world, God did not create one set of rules for black people and another for whites. God did not that the tall, or the blue-eyed, or the big nosed were superior. God did not say women were better than men, or that only heterosexuals would go to heaven.
Prejudice and discrimination are psychoses invented and perfected by people. In Uganda, to our shame, prejudice against sexual minorities has been propagated by no less than the President, who has termed homosexuality “unnatural” and “not how God arranged things to be.”
Those words are reminiscent of the words the apartheid rulers used to justify such laws as the infamous Immorality Act that made sexual relations between black and white citizens illegal and led to police storming into people’s bedrooms to check their complexions.
For the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights to be presenting the 2011 Human Rights Award to Frank Mugisha today is to reward justice over injustice. It reminds us that Africa cannot afford to reverse the progress it has made in human rights. And that tolerance is an essential human rights ingredient – a critical condition to foster good relations in the human family.
To acknowledge the role of Mr. Mugisha and SMUG is to acknowledge that prejudice against sexual minorities is as wrong as prejudice against black people, against Jews or women. It is ultimately a reminder that whoever we are and wherever we live – whether our name is Mugisha, Kennedy or Tutu – we are members of one family, God’s family.
Thank you Mr. Mugisha, and thank you to all the committed people who serve the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights. I sincerely regret not being able to join you for this celebration of our family in Washington this morning. For the work you are doing is close to my heart.
God bless you!
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rfkcenter: Did you know #farmworkers in NY state do not have the right to collectively bargain? http://t.co/370Hl2kVbN
rfkcenter: Did you know #farmworkers in NY state do not have the right to a day of rest? http://t.co/370Hl2kVbN
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