Desmond Tutu's daughter gives up Church ministry after same-sex marriage

Mpho Tutu-Van Furth has given up her licence to practise as an Anglican priest.Alex Baker Photography

Archbishop Desmond Tutu's daughter has given up her licence to serve as an Anglican priest after marrying a woman.

Rev Canon Mpho Tutu-Van Furth faced disciplinary measures from her bishop, who is personally sympathetic but constrained by Church law.

Tutu-Van Furth said: "Because the South African Anglican Church does not recognise our marriage, I can no longer exercise my priestly ministry in South Africa. The bishop of the diocese was instructed to revoke my licence. I decided that I would give it to him rather than have him take it."

Bishop Raphael Hess told the Telegraph he was "vexed" by the situation but hoped it would be short-lived. "The time has come for us to exercise pastoral care, for us to demonstrate a shift that is reflected in the law," he said. "We would be able to have Rev Canon Tutu be able to minister. At the moment she cannot and she has accepted that but we are hoping that there might be a window for us to change it."

South Africa legalised same-sex marriage in 2006, but the Church has yet to follow suit. However, unlike Anglican Churches in other African countries it generally takes a liberal position on the question that has threatened to split the Communion.

Canon Tutu married atheist academic Marceline Van Furth in the Netherlands in December. Both are divorced.

Archbishop Tutu attended a second ceremony at a vineyard owned by Sir Richard Branson in South Africa at which he was permitted to give a "father's blessing" to their union. The former Archbishop of Cape Town has spoken in favour of same-sex marriage, saying he would refuse to go to a "homophobic heaven".