Nelson Mandela Hub




Will South Africa Become a Roadblock To International LGBT Rights?

South Africa, which was once an essential nation to advancing LGBTI rights in international diplomacy, has since become a potential roadblock, according to Huffington Post.

South africaIn 2011, South Africa sponsored a resolution before the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) that, for the first time, recognized LGBTI rights as human rights. Supporters of the resolution believed that it required at least one prominent African backer in order to prevent it playing into the hands of LGBTI rights opponents in Africa and other parts of the world.

However, when an updated version of the resolution was tabled last week at a HRC meeting, South Africa’s name was not on it. With a vote expected this week, some LGBTI rights supporters are now concerned that South Africa  could turn against the resolution.

This comes following a move by South Africa’s ruling African National Congress party to block a parliamentary motion to condemn Uganda’s severe anti-gay laws - which have since been struck down.

According to Mmapeseka Steve Letsike, a lesbian activist who chairs the South African National AIDS Council’s Civil Society Forum:

“We currently have leadership that fails to represent the ethos of what the constitution says and the equality principles they have to uphold. We have leadership going out of this country putting their personal beliefs before its own people. We have leaders that fail to protect their own.”

MandelaSome South African activists regard these decisions to move away from supporting LGBTI rights internationally as part of a larger trend in the country’s leadership.

While Nelson Mandela and other leaders of the African National Congress embraced LGBTI rights, that commitment is not as strong among the younger generation of leaders, most notably President Jacob Zuma, who called same-sex marriage “a disgrace to the nation and to God” around the time the unions won legal recognition in the country.

The resolution’s supporters are optimistic that they will have the votes to pass the resolution and nobody believes it is possible that South Africa would vote against it on the final vote. It could abstain on a final vote or vote for a procedural motion that would kill the resolution by denying an up or down vote — exactly what it did to keep the inclusive language out of the Protection of the Family resolution in June.

The lack of support for the updated HRC resolution actually comes at a time that there is a new commitment from the government to fighting anti-LGBTI hate crimes inside the country, spurred by a series of horrific rapes and murders of black lesbians.


With Mandela Gone, Gays in South Africa Worry About Potential Rollback of Rights: VIDEO

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As the only country in Africa with marriage equality, gay and lesbian South Africans have arguably enjoyed more expansive freedoms and rights than most other LGBT individuals across the continent.

Screen Shot 2013-12-16 at 11.38.53 AMSouth Africa's unique situation is, in no small part, thanks to Nelson Mandela and the human rights reforms he set into motion as president during the 1990s.

Now, with Mandela's passing, some gay South Africans are concerned about a possible rollback of LGBT rights. In a video profile, The New York Times interviews an interracial, gay South African couple to get their take on Mandela's passing and what it means for larger challenges related to the intersection of race, class, and sexuality in the country.

Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "With Mandela Gone, Gays in South Africa Worry About Potential Rollback of Rights: VIDEO" »


Jon Stewart Throws Water on the Firestorm Over the Castro Handshake: VIDEO

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Yesterday we reported that the media and right-wingers had become all aflutter over Obama's handshake with Cuban leader Raul Castro at the Mandela memorial. Jon Stewart ironed things out with a rendition of "The Hills Are Alive" from The Sound of Music.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Jon Stewart Throws Water on the Firestorm Over the Castro Handshake: VIDEO" »


Media Studies Interactions Between Obama and Raul Castro, Danish PM Helle Thorning Schmidt: VIDEO

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Forget the stunning speech or the remembrance. Mandela's memorial provided ample opportunity to study Obama's interactions with world leaders, and the media, both social and traditional, are having a field day.

First, Obama shook hands with...a dictator! In honor of the Raul Castro moment, DailyKos has posted 10 photos of Republican presidents and VPs shaking hands with dictators.

The NYT wonders:

Was Mr. Obama trying to signal a new effort by the American government to reach an accommodation with Cuba 50 years after the Communist revolution that put Fidel Castro, Raúl’s brother, in power? Or was Mr. Obama simply trying to avoid delivering a diplomatic snub at a memorial dedicated to forgiveness?

The president’s aides would have known in advance which world leaders would be at the podium when the president approached for his own remarks. But White House officials declined to offer any explanation of the handshake or confirm that there had been a discussion about whether to offer one.

Still, Mr. Obama’s own remarks, delivered just moments afterward, offer tantalizing possibilities about what was going through the president’s mind when he approached Mr. Castro.

FOX News, of course, has its eyebrow arched over the exchange.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Meanwhile, another story is being weaved over a set of photos showing interactions between Obama and Danish PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt, while Michelle Obama looks on with an unamused stare.

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Continue reading "Media Studies Interactions Between Obama and Raul Castro, Danish PM Helle Thorning Schmidt: VIDEO" »


News: Vin Diesel, Nelson Mandela, Comet, Ja Rule

6a00d8341c730253ef019b0242bbdc970d-800wi Rebecca Black moves from "Friday" to "Saturday."

Screen-Shot-2012-12-26-at-5.43.06-PM-400x3486a00d8341c730253ef019b0242bbdc970d-800wi Vin Diesel relayed a touching moment he had with Paul Walker's mother: “His mother hugged me and said I am so sorry… I said sorry? You’re the mother who lost a son?… She said yes, but you lost your other half…”

6a00d8341c730253ef019b0242bbdc970d-800wi Fast & Furious 7 director says that the film will move forward.

6a00d8341c730253ef019b0242bbdc970d-800wi Nelson Mandela's family releases their first statement since the late leader's death: "[The family] is humbled by the messages of condolences and support we continue to receive from governments and people of the world."

6a00d8341c730253ef019b0242bbdc970d-800wi It appears that Miley Cyrus will keep twerking through the holidays.

6a00d8341c730253ef019b0242bbdc970d-800wi Ja Rule attempts to debunk gay rumors by posing with his wife in lip-locking photo on Instagram.

Rosetta_2758749b6a00d8341c730253ef019b0242bbdc970d-800wi European spacecraft might be the first to landing on a comet: "Scientists hope that studying how the comet changes as it moves into the inner solar system will help explain unsolved mysteries about life on Earth, such as how water first arrived on our planet."

6a00d8341c730253ef019b0242bbdc970d-800wi Family Secrets, which is being touted as the very first gay Egyptian film, will screen at the Dubai International Film Festival.

6a00d8341c730253ef019b0242bbdc970d-800wi Five Lesbian films that apparently get same-sex love right.

6a00d8341c730253ef019b0242bbdc970d-800wi The 45 most powerful photos of the year.

6a00d8341c730253ef019b0242bbdc970d-800wi The full list of Grammy nominations in case you want to keep tabs.


Rachel Maddow on Mandela's Experience and the Movement Inspired by Him: VIDEO

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Rachel Maddow delivers a moving look back at Nelson Mandela's life before discussing his legacy with Congressman and civil rights hero John Lewis.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Rachel Maddow on Mandela's Experience and the Movement Inspired by Him: VIDEO" »


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