Desmond Tutu's daughter: 'Incredibly sad' to leave priesthood

Archbishop Desmond Tutu's daughter has said she is "incredibly sad" to leave the preisthood after her same-sex marriage to Marceline van Furth.

Mpho Tutu's civil wedding took place in the Netherlands in December and was celebrated in South Africa last month. In an interview with BBC on Thursday she said falling in love with a woman had been as much a surprise for her as anyone else.

Mpho Tutu's wedding celebration in South Africa is surrounded in controversy after an Anglican priest allegedly blessed the ceremony.Alex Baker Photography

"I know my marriage sounds like a coming out party but quite frankly I am guessing that I fall more as bisexual on the spectrum than lesbian.

"Falling in love with Marceline was probably as much a surprise to me as anyone else."

Tutu's father, Desmond, has been a long time advocate for women priests and LGBT rights. "I would not worship a God who is homophobic and that his how deeply I feel about this," he told the launch of the Free and Equal campaign in Cape Town in 2013.

Mpho said part of her had been "stripped away" by the removal of her license.

"A few years ago I celebrated the Eucharist with my father and so to now be in a position where I can't serve at the altar with him – I was surprised by how much it hurt," she told the BBC.

She said her father was "saddened" by her removal as well.

Although South Africa has legalised same-sex marriage, the Anglican church prohibits clergy from officiating at gay weddings or entering into gay marriage themselves. Mpho said she knew she would have to give up her license after her wedding but said she wanted to "always choose love".

"Everything else will fall into place. When in doubt do the most loving thing."

She added she did not think the Anglican Communion would hold on to its teaching that marriage is only between a man and a woman.

"What is so absolute that we can't pass beyond this point?" she said. "The reality is that not only do we have gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual people of every description sitting in our pews, to be perfectly honest we have all of those people standing in our pulpits as well.

"Yet very often they sit in fear in the pews and they stand in fear in the pulpits because they are not free to fully own who they are and who they love."