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Activist Questions Denial of U.S. Visas to African LGBT SF Pride Invitees

MelanieNathanMelanie Nathan (right), director of the San Francisco African Leadership Institute, wrote a scathing piece about the state department's denial of visas for several LGBTI persons from African countries whom she had invited to march in the San Francisco Pride Parade. The 2014 celebration, called "Color Our World with Pride," should have been the perfect venue for the expression of oppressed communities from around the globe, particularly LGBTI Africans and particularly given the United States' response to anti-gay actions on the part of the Ugandan government, among others. Nathan found herself distressed at the notion of Secretary of State John Kerry touting the state department's commitment to global equality initiatives (as the speaker at the department's GLIFAA Pride event, no less) while denying visas to the people who need them most.

Writes Nathan at HuffPost:

The State Department denied seven people a platform to speak about the persecution in their countries, presumably for fear that they might not return home to the countries that persecute them. And after they were denied, a clear pattern emerged, and I pulled 11 of the remaining 14 applicants.

While the Obama administration and this secretary of state have supported the LGBT movement like none before, there is no excuse for this flagrant snub and the homophobic attitude expressed by some of the consular officials who did the interviewing.

JohnKerryNathan argues that by denying visas the U.S. government is abetting the oppression faced by many of the people she had invited for participation in the Pride event. "[By] denying these Pride visas, we may as well have added the victims of the persecution to the blacklist too," Nathan writes.

She believes that Kerry (left) and his department have done a disservice to the global community, and it is hard to deny the cruel irony of the situation:

"No matter where you are, no matter who you love, we stand with you," noted Kerry in that Pride-affirming speech. "And that's what pride means, and that's what drives us today."

And he further assured, "The journey isn't complete. The march isn't over. The promise isn't perfected. But we will march on together."


No, Mr. Secretary, it seems that in fact we are not marching together. You have denied us all that privilege.

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  1. Yes this sucks and it was wrong, but isn't it obvious that John Kerry doesn't sit around all day perusing visa apps? There are civil service lackeys for that.

    Posted by: SEan | Jun 24, 2014 3:15:08 PM

  2. So--let's take in every member of every country that oppresses their citizens? Let's use my tax dollars to give them jobs and college educations and healthcare while we're at it. Give me a break. Get over yourself. Not allowing non-US citizens into the US is not oppression. These people need a smack.

    Posted by: Matson | Jun 24, 2014 3:18:57 PM

  3. Shouldn't that be "LGBTQI" ??????

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Jun 24, 2014 3:37:39 PM

  4. We don't need African gays to come here to tell us there is homophobia in Africa. We already know that. We need gay Africans to stay in Africa, agitate, protest and fight for their rights in places like Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya etc.

    Posted by: Justin | Jun 24, 2014 4:30:27 PM

  5. @MATSON
    So -- let's read the article next time OK? I think you're the one who needs a smack.

    And yes, telling people they can't visit the US because they come from a poor country sounds pretty oppressive to me. Think about that the next time you sail through immigration in Cancun. It ain't so easy when folks from Mexico try and visit grandma in San Antonio.

    Posted by: Ozu | Jun 24, 2014 5:12:40 PM

  6. Melanie Nathan is a con. There is no organization she just hooked up with SF LGBT center who were naive enough to believe that she was helping anyone and made her their pride grand marshal. This is the fake web page!about_us/crrl where you can see that no donations to her are tax deductible because she has not incorporated a 501C3.

    Nathan accuses Secretary of State John Kerry of denying some Ugandan activists visas but that is not his job. This is his job

    Too bad Andy and Huff Post Gay bought into her con. Her blog was part of her begging scam publicity stunt. She thinks she is like Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who saved the lives of many Jews.

    She is NOT. She is a liar and a fraud.

    Posted by: QueeRevolutionary | Jun 24, 2014 8:08:22 PM

  7. More proof that Nathan is lying

    She wrote this here
    I have the office of a U.S.A. Senator at the ready to support these VISAS. It is critical that we exude community support to make this happen.

    So which is it - she can't get Secretary of State John Kerry to take her calls or she has a senator willing to go along with her con?

    Posted by: QueeRevolutionary | Jun 24, 2014 10:15:45 PM

  8. So, what about the Ugandan gay kids you told would be in San Francisco by June 28th and then you just stop talking to them a few weeks ago. Are they going to be rescued Melanie? And what of the report on who you have helped so far with the funds you have raised on Indiegogo supposedly for Ugandan LGBT, when will that promised report be sent to SMUG and Spectrum Uganda?

    Posted by: Lisa | Jun 24, 2014 10:30:56 PM

  9. Sounds so bad people out there I expect to stand with us or fight for us like Melanie Nathan instead are being negative about her efforts to help us (AFRICAN LGBTI) Who are facing persecution.

    Can you stay in a place where you can easily lose your life due to your sexual orientation?

    Posted by: Derrick Nsimbi | Jun 25, 2014 1:03:09 AM

  10. Its so absurd Matson and Lisa. Better think again. Queerevolutionary you are pretty damn wrong. If your heart cant be like for Melanie, just back off I suggest. Am one of the people Melanie Nathan is helping down here in Africa just because she has a pure heart and feels so sorry about what we are going through doi here.

    I agree with you Ozu. They all need a SMACK

    Posted by: Derrick Nsimbi | Jun 25, 2014 1:21:55 AM

  11. Melanie Nathan is a Heroe.

    Posted by: Derrick Nsimbi | Jun 25, 2014 11:45:36 AM

  12. Lisa im one of the people Melanie helped, im member of spectrum uganda,well didnt get visa but atlist people who were homless have shelter now its her effort

    Posted by: peter | Jun 25, 2014 2:49:00 PM

  13. QUEERREVOLUTIONARY/LISA TALMADGE, Is the same person.... You shouldn`t come here and accuse Melanie Nathan of being a fraud... You know about Melanie Nathan`s work and you know that she has being doing nothing but trying to help people.

    But you QUEERREVOLUTIONARY/LISA TALMADGE, you have done nothing to help anyone...

    Those of you judging and trying to sabotage Melanie Nathan dont know half of what this woman did and still doing to save people.

    I`m one of the people she helped.If it wans´t for her, i would be on the streets or even dead.

    Sad part of all this is that, those of you trying to sabotage Melanie Nathan,are the same ones who pretend being her friedn.

    You guys are the FRAUD!!!

    Posted by: Adriano Cordeiro Chey | Jun 26, 2014 7:38:28 AM

  14. Instead of complaining and talking non sense, why don`t you all try to help those people in danger?

    you guys are a bunch of joke

    Posted by: Adriano Cordeiro Chey | Jun 26, 2014 7:39:41 AM

  15. @Matson, how can you say such horrible thing?

    You don`t whant people in your country?
    You are worry about your taxes?
    Are you even a human?

    If Africa was the only safe place for you and your family to go and the people in Africa woulnd`t want you there, how would you feel?

    Can you have some heart and put yourself in this people shoes?

    Posted by: Adriano Cordeiro Chey | Jun 26, 2014 7:46:09 AM

  16. This makes me so mad,coz you peeople TALK,TALK but dont do nothing to help!!

    Posted by: Adriano Cordeiro Chey | Jun 26, 2014 7:49:56 AM

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