The former Archbishop of Cape Town and Nobel Prize Laureate Desmond Tutu is to be honoured by the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission.
The Anglican leader has been outspoken in his rejection of homophobia, often clashing with his more conservative African colleagues.
He will be appearing at IGLHRC’s A Celebration of Courage event in San Francisco on April 8th to accept the OUTSPOKEN Award “in honour of the unprecedented impact of his leadership as a human rights advocate.”
In November 2007 Archbishop Tutu told the BBC that if he believed that God was homophobic, he wouldn’t be a Christian.
The Nobel Peace Prize winner said he was ashamed of his church because of its treatment of gays.
He said that Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury and spiritual head of the Anglican communion, has not demonstrated the attributes of a “welcoming God” to homosexuals.
“Our world is facing problems, poverty, HIV and AIDS, a devastating pandemic, and conflict,” Tutu said.
“God must be weeping looking at some of the atrocities that we commit against one another.
“In the face of all of that, our Church, especially the Anglican Church, at this time is almost obsessed with questions of human sexuality.”
He said that the Church acted in an “extraordinarily homophobic” way during the election of Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire.
Asked if he still felt ashamed, he replied: “If we are going to not welcome or invite people because of sexual orientation, yes.
“If God as they say is homophobic I wouldn’t worship that God.”
“It is a perversion if you say to me that a person chooses to be homosexual.
“You must be crazy to choose a way of life that exposes you to a kind of hatred. It’s like saying you choose to be black in a race infected society.”
In December he apologised to gay people all around the world for the way they have been treated by the Church.