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Nelson Mandela Dead at 95

Mandela

The great South African leader and defender of equality Nelson Mandela has died at 95.

South African President Jacob Zuma announced the sad news:

"He passed on peacefully in the company of his family around 20.50pm on the fifth of December 2013,” Zuma said. "He is now resting, he is now at peace. Our nation has lost its greatest son. Our people have lost a father. Although we knew this day would come nothing can diminish our sense of a profound and enduring loss. His tireless struggle for freedom earned him the respect of the world. His humility, his compassion, and his humanity earned him their love. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Mandela family. To them we owe a debt of gratitude. They have sacrificed much and endured much so that our people could be free..."

The world has lost one of its bravest souls and greatest champions of freedom. May his legacy continue to inspire new generations.

Obama's statement:

The Human Rights Campaign mourned Mandela's passing:

“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," said HRC President Chad Griffin. "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.

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Comments

  1. Great man, great individual, showed the power of forgiveness, strength and courage. RIP.

    Posted by: Matt27 | Dec 5, 2013 5:22:28 PM


  2. The world became a better place because of him.

    Posted by: Martin | Dec 5, 2013 5:23:52 PM


  3. He supported civil rights for Gay people. How could decades in prison make someone more humane toward people's civil rights? I'll always wonder how Mandela became the great spokesman for justice that he was.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Dec 5, 2013 5:23:55 PM


  4. 46664 now walks with the angels.

    Few folks will grace this earth and leave behind a legacy like Mandela's. We are all part of a better world because of him. Seeing him in Toronto when I was in high school was one of the most inspiring moments of my entire life. Leader, vanguard, brother. He was, and will always be, courage. strength. love. grace. forgiveness. defiance. resilience. immortality is yours when you inspire change and love in others. Thank you, Madiba.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Dec 5, 2013 5:27:03 PM


  5. So sad.

    Posted by: Rowan | Dec 5, 2013 5:29:15 PM


  6. Did he support gay marriage?

    Posted by: will | Dec 5, 2013 5:48:24 PM


  7. Funny that the posters above me base
    his likeability solely on if he supported gay marriage or not.

    Posted by: Gonzo | Dec 5, 2013 5:55:37 PM


  8. @ "Did he support gay marriage?"

    Did YOU in the 1990s or in the 2004 presidential elections?

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Dec 5, 2013 5:57:22 PM


  9. @ "Funny that the posters above me base
    his likeability solely on if he supported gay marriage or not."

    You mean the posteR above you--singular.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Dec 5, 2013 6:04:11 PM


  10. @Gonzo: I am not aware that he was ever known to mention gay marriage specifically; by the time that it became an issue he was essentially retired from politics. But he supported gay rights, and he supported the inclusion of a clause in the South African constitution that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. That clause is why gay marriage is legal in South Africa now.

    Posted by: aj | Dec 5, 2013 6:12:35 PM


  11. Did anyone ask of that Walker dude who married his girlfriend when she was 16 support gay rights? SMDH.

    Posted by: Rowan | Dec 5, 2013 6:34:40 PM


  12. Lol! Look at Kiwi trying to give a eulogy! Raymond, you don't believe in heaven or angels, so what are you talking about? What a phony. You are the opposite of Mandela, who was sincere and compassionate and accomplished.

    Also, please note that at no time in his long life did Mandela speak on transgender bathroom issues. Nor did he support the the right to taxpayer funded hormones. So if you are going to be consistent with your past comments directed at so-called transphobes, you should be happy that he died.

    Posted by: Bill | Dec 5, 2013 6:55:43 PM


  13. A remarkable human being who lived a remarkable life. May he rest in peace.

    Posted by: sfbob | Dec 5, 2013 6:58:30 PM


  14. The King of Africa and a singularity of our times has left us, a man whose righteous resistance reshaped a nation and the destiny of humankind. Home now to Ghandi, King and Christ.

    Do not miss his autobiography.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Dec 5, 2013 7:19:34 PM


  15. Mandela was involved in terrorism.

    Posted by: ASam | Dec 5, 2013 7:32:43 PM


  16. South Africa was the second non-European country to have same-sex marriage. It's impossible to imagine how that would have happened had the father of the new South Africa had been against it.

    Posted by: BMF | Dec 5, 2013 8:07:04 PM


  17. Jacob Zuma will now start the bloodbath.

    Posted by: Rotundra | Dec 5, 2013 8:42:46 PM


  18. One of the greatest human beings to walk the earth. May he rest in peace and his legacy flourish always. If you are too young to remember him in his prime, please read his story. You will be amazed and inspired. God bless this man and the lessons he taught us.

    Posted by: BreckRoy | Dec 5, 2013 8:48:13 PM


  19. From Queerty: http://www.queerty.com/five-reasons-why-nelson-mandela-is-an-epochal-figure-for-lgbt-rights-20131205/

    Posted by: BreckRoy | Dec 5, 2013 9:01:01 PM


  20. Rick/Asam: you really have no shame, do you? You're an actual monster and I hope you die forgotten and alone.

    Posted by: Tyler | Dec 5, 2013 9:05:28 PM


  21. People should not be sad that Mandela died at age 95. We should celebrate that a man of his qualities graced our world and, probably more than anyone else, made it a better place.

    Posted by: andrew | Dec 5, 2013 9:14:04 PM


  22. RIP dear brother.

    Posted by: greenfuzz | Dec 5, 2013 9:34:49 PM


  23. I had presumed Towleroad readers to be more versed in public affairs. Even given the relatively few detractors, it has become clear that not all had the advantage of a competent education.

    Or perhaps they get some perverse pleasure in stirring up muck and mayhem.

    Posted by: circuitmouse | Dec 5, 2013 9:48:32 PM


  24. He was the greatest living organism ever to have formed since the Big Bang. Born of a virgin, he overthrew apartheid by being in prison. He also developed and marketed the world's first cold fusion apparatus, which he built himself on weekends. He also could fly.

    Posted by: Tyler | Dec 5, 2013 10:54:06 PM


  25. Thank God for Nelson Mandela. As for the rest... Crabs in a barrel...smh.

    Posted by: Rocco | Dec 6, 2013 12:46:12 AM


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