In a statement of solidarity with LGBT people around the world, South Africa's iconic Archbishop Desmond Tutu said in Cape Town on Friday that he would choose to go to Hell rather than a Heaven ruled over by a homophobic God. According to Huffington Post, Tutu was very direct in his support of LGBTs, making the statements to mark the kickoff of a new United Nations international LGBT rights program.

"I would not worship a God who is homophobic and that is how deeply I feel about this," he said. "I would refuse to go to a homophobic heaven. No, I would say sorry, I mean I would much rather go to the other place."

He expressed a deep commitment to the cause of equality for LGBT people. "I am as passionate about this campaign as I ever was about apartheid. For me, it is at the same level."

The statements come in the wake of multiple incidences of horrific anti-LGBT violence in Russia and a statement by Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe that he believes that gay men should be beheaded.

[image of Bishop Desmond Tutu via s_bukley /]