Desmond Tutu: 'I would not worship a God who is homophobic'
Cape Town's former archbishop compares struggle for gay rights to his fight against apartheid
Desmond Tutu has said he would rather go to hell than worship a homophobic God.
The Nobel peace laureate and anti-apartheid hero was lending his support to a UN-backed campaign for gay rights in his native South Africa.
Though same sex marriages are legal in the country, homosexuals still experience brutal violence. Last month a lesbian was found dead, having been sexually assaulted with a toilet brush.
The retired former Archbishop of Cape Town, 81, is a long-standing campaigner for gay rights, and compared the struggle to that for racial equality in South Africa.
He said: "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.
"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."
Same-sex relationships are illegal in more than a third of countries around the world and punishable by death in five, said UN human rights chief Navi Pillay, who also spoke at the launch of the Free and Equal campaign in Cape Town.
According to the rights group Amnesty International, homosexual acts are still a crime in 38 African countries.
According to AFP, Ms Pillay said: "People are literally paying for their love with their lives.
"I constantly hear governments tell me, 'but this is our culture, our tradition and we can't change it'... So we have lots of work to do."
Tourist films plane's descent just metres above packed Caribbean beach
Bali nine: Welcome to 'Execution Island' – the Indonesian holiday resort where foreigners are sent to die
How Homer Simpson discovered the Higgs boson over a decade before scientists
The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
Harrison Ford plane crash: Star Wars actor 'seriously injured' after his vintage light aircraft crash lands in golf course in Los Angeles
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Nigel Farage promises Ukip will not 'stigmatise' would-be migrants – and says he wants 'everyone to speak the same language'
Ex-head of MI6: 'We shouldn't kid ourselves that Russia is on a path to democracy'
Most people think legal tax avoidance is just as wrong as illegal tax evasion, poll suggests
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Digital Marketing Executive i...
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are an award-winning digit...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform En...
£10000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...