Nelson Mandela, father of modern South Africa, died today at the age of 95.
After spending 27 years in prison under apartheid, Mandela led his country in a peaceful transition toward democracy and equality. The country’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission became a model for peace.
The LGBT community will remember Mandela as a friend. The new South African constitution became the first one in the world to guarantee equal rights based on sexual orientation and allow same-sex marriage.
Mandela served as South Africa’s president from 1994-1999. He had been released from prison in 1990. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 and 250 additional honors including the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom.