Archbishop Desmond Tutu, famous for his role in ending Apartheid, has said that he would rather go to Hell if he discovered that God was homophobic.

“I would refuse to go to a homophobic Heaven,” Archbishop Tutu said at the launch of a new LGBT global public education campaign by the United Nations Human Rights Office. He added: “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.”

“Can you imagine me having said it’s unjust to penalise something they cannot do anything about, their race or gender, and then to keep quiet when people are hounded, people are killed, because of their sexual orientation?” Archbishop Tutu, a Nobel Prize winner pondered.

“I think it’s as utterly unjust as racism ever was.”

Archbishop Tutu said LGBT people were often described as being a “particular breed”.

“They are not a peculiar breed. That is precisely what we are saying, that they are human beings. I don’t know why we are so surprised. They have gifts, they can become judges. They can become all sorts of wonderful things.”

He added: “I would refuse to go to a homophobic heaven. No, I’d say sorry. I mean, I’d much rather go to that other place.

“We have to build a society that is accepting and it is not a free society until every single person knows they are acknowledged and accepted for who they are.”

South Africa is the only African country that recognises gay rights and allows same-sex marriage. However, homophobic violence remains a key problem throughout the nation.