The Most Reverend Dr. Thabo Makgoba is the Archbishop of Cape Town and Metropolitan of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, as well as a supporter of Africa's LGBT movement. In the video above, which was put together by Human Rights Watch, Archbishop Makgoba explains the social, religious, and moral importance of loving, not harming, people who are LGBT.
Discrimination based on one's LGBT identity, he says, blurs one's "view of the beauty of humanity."
Explaining his support for the LGBT community as a religious authority figure in Africa, he tells viewers, "Love cuts across culture. Our faith and our sacred texts allow us to use our God given courage to be fearless in saying, 'God loves each one of us in spite of our sexual identity and orientation'…God has called us to radiate his love and grace in the world, and just that simple message is not coming through. Be bold."
He also spoke on the dangers of discrimination: "When you violate somebody on the basis of difference, not only are you violating them, you are demeaning yourself…We are called to respect and we are called to honor each other."
During this part of the conversation, the camera pans to a painting of Archbishop Desmond Tutu—Nobel Peace Prize laureate; champion of human rights; anti-apartheid, anti-homophobia, and anti-transphobia activist; and Makgoba's predecessor. Tutu continues to work for the equality and dignified treatment of LGBT people in places including Uganda and Burundi.
Still, violence against the LGBT community in Africa, just as in the rest of the world, rages on. Human Rights Watch said in a press release about the video, "In Cameroon, Eric Ohena Lembembe, a gay activist, was murdered in July 2013, but government officials have refused to acknowledge that his murder might be a hate crime. In South Africa, lesbian and bisexual women and non-gender-conforming people face endemic rape and assault; the killing of Duduzile Zozo in July is the most recently reported example of such targeted violence."
We hope that Archbishop Makgoba's message continues to be heard around the world so that discriminatory violence everywhere can be put to rest, once and for all. Share this post to share his message.