Melanie Nathan

LGBTQ website to provide eye tests and glasses for homeless gay youth

When a trailblazer from the San Francisco Bay Area optical scene went about building an LGBTQ focused eyeglass site, camp became an understatement, and high design was all but blurred in a flurry of retro with a swish that makes Ru Paul look tame. It works. A great site and a not to be missed visit. However that is not all its creator cares about. The site has a grand purpose and its mission is much more insightful.

Human rights icon Nelson Mandela dies at age 95 | VIDEO

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Nelson Mandela, often called the “father of the nation” in post-apartheid South Africa, died today after a long illness. He was 95.

The elder statesman of South Africa had been gravely ill for some time, and his extended family had rallied to his bedside at his home.

“Our nation has lost its greatest son,” President Jacob Zuma said in a televised address on Thursday night. “His humility, his compassion and his humanity earned him our love.”

Breaking ground in South Africa with a traditional Zulu gay wedding | VIDEO

(Editor's note: Melanie Nathan is Editor of the O-blog-dee-o-blog-da blog, where this story was first published. She is a frequent contributor to San Diego Gay & Lesbian News.)

South Africa is a leader in the world of equality, enjoying an all inclusive constitution, where same-sex marriage is legal and discrimination against LGBTI people outlawed. However that has not stopped homophobia and fear to embrace LGBTI South Africans as fully equal.

Anti-gay pastor Scott Lively, Uganda human rights activists face off in federal court

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – A federal judge heard arguments today in a case charging that homophobic pastor Scott Lively’s actions in anti-gay efforts in Uganda constitute persecution under U.S. and international law.

Second gay youth worker arrested in Uganda, as harassment of gays continues

In a heightened ramp-up of persecution of gay Ugandans, a young man named Kabuye Najibu was arrested in Uganda a few hours ago, while visiting his co-worker who had been arrested just before the new year.

The O-blog-dee-O-blog-da blog broke the story of Joseph Kwesi’s arrest.

Marriage equality comes to life in Washington state

SEATTLE -- Seattle saw marriage equality come to life. At 12:01 am the King County Administrative building erupted into cheer as the doors opened for over 300 couples who had lined the cold streets for hours, waiting to be amongst the first to celebrate the historic moment.

Uganda Speaker vows to pass “Kill The Gays” bill as “Christmas gift” to nation

KAMPALA, Uganda – The universally condemned “Kill The Gays” bill appears to be on a fast-track pace toward passage in December.

Speaker Rebecca Kadaga vows that the much-maligned Anti-Homosexuality Bill will be overwhelmingly passed by Parliament because she claims that most Ugandans are demanding the law. She told reporters that the bill’s passage would be the perfect “Christmas gift” for Ugandans.

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COMMENTARY: How Oprah hurts me and my family

Oprah’s Lifeclass site asks its usual weekly question “Are you hurting an important woman in your life? Or is an important woman in your life hurting you?” I choose the second question, and Oprah and you have my answer: Oprah, you are an important woman in my life and you ARE hurting me and this is why:

In Uganda, police raid workshop on gay rights, arrest LGBT activists

Police in Kampala, Uganda on Monday raided a gay rights meeting and arrested several LGBT activists gathered at the Essela Hotel in Najjeera, a Kampala suburb, accusing the participants of “propagating gay issues in Uganda.”

East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project, the organization behind the workshop, said that police interrupted the meeting and began questioning attendees at the event, including activists from Canada, Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda.

Muslim lesbians fight deportation in Canada in fear of "honor killing"

TORONTO — An Arab-Israeli lesbian couple, who fled to Canada from Israel in fear of death at the hands of their Muslim family have been told they can remain in Canada for another chance at receiving asylum.

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