Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Human rights icon and LGBT ally Archbishop Desmond Tutu will receive an award at next month’s LGBT tourism conference in Cape Town.
Tutu, 84, will be honoured with the 2016 Chair Award by the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA).
The award is presented to an individual or business that has made the world a more welcoming place for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender travellers.
“As we’re holding our convention on the African continent for the first time, I cannot think of a better award recipient than Archbishop Desmond Tutu,” said IGLTA Board Chair Dan Melesurgo.
“He has been a global inspiration since the demise of apartheid, using his high profile to campaign for the oppressed and defend human rights. He is a true leader in the fight against HIV/AIDS, poverty, racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia.”
The 2016 IGLTA Chair Award will be presented to Tutu as part of the opening of IGLTA’s 33nd Annual Global Convention at the Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town, in cooperation with the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation.
Now retired, Tutu is one of the world’s most high profile religious leaders to vocally support LGBT equality. He’s criticised African states for targeting people on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and has said he would rather go to hell than worship a God who is homophobic.
The IGLTA Convention, taking place from 14 to 16 April, is believed to be the first international LGBT business conference to be held in Africa.
South Africa’s Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom is set to deliver the keynote welcome to the delegates.