The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, mourned the passing of Nelson Mandela and celebrated his legacy. HRC President Chad Griffin issued the following statement:
“Nelson Mandela tore down oppression, united a rainbow nation, and always walked arm-in-arm with his LGBT brothers and sisters—and with all people—toward freedom. Though every man, woman and child who seeks justice around the world mourns this loss, his vision of an equal future lives on undimmed.”
Mandela, who was South Africa’s first post-Apartheid president, was an outspoken advocate for LGBT equality. He appointed an openly-gay judge to South Africa’s High Court of Appeal and during his presidency, South Africa became the first nation in the world to constitutionally prohibit sexual orientation-based discrimination. Mandela will be remembered for his social justice activism and commitment to equality for all people.
“We are deeply saddened to hear about Nelson Mandela’s passing. Yet, we are hopeful his legacy of tolerance and mutual respect will live on for generations,” Andre Banks, Executive Director and Co-Founder of All Out said. “As All Out continues to work with partners throughout Africa to free those who are oppressed and imprisoned for who they are and who they love, we will be inspired by Nelson Mandela’s story and words.”
“Nelson Mandela was an inspiration to the millions of people who yearn for freedom across the world. With great personal sacrifice, he fought Apartheid and state-sanctioned racism. His principled approach, his willingness to reach out to former enemies, led to the introduction of multi-party democracy and real change in South Africa. Indeed, South Africa’s post-apartheid constitution was the first in the world to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation. His legacy is hope; hope that people can achieve peace and freedom in a world with more than its fair share of conflict.” Rea Carey, Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.
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