Friday, May 23, 2014

CELEBRITY FRIDAY: Zakhele Mbhele, South Africa's 1st Openly Gay Elected MP Sworn In

Zakhele Mbhele made history yesterday on May 22, Harvey Milk Day, when he was sworn in as the first elected openly gay, Member of Parliament in South Africa. Mbhele, 29, is believed to be the first openly gay elected Member of Parliament anywhere in Africa!

The Washington Post reports:

Today, Zakhele Mbhele, a member of the opposition Democratic Alliance, was sworn in to the South African National Assembly. He is the 203rd openly gay member of parliament worldwide  since Coos Huijsen became the first, in the Netherlands, in 1976. The symbolism is made more vivid by the fact that Mbhele is the first openly gay black African to be elected on a continent where laws designed to invalidate gay people have destroyed countless lives.  
There is an unsettling polarity in the state of gay rights around the world today. The march toward gay rights in much of the developed world has sped up to a dizzying pace. More and more countries have introduced same-sex marriage and other equality laws. Today, well over 700 million people live in places where gay marriage is legal; over 120 million of those are in the United States.
You can congratulate Mbhele yourself via his Twitter account yourself. Hopefully, he will only be the first of many out LGBT politicians on the African continent.

Hat/tip to GLAAD Link

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