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African HRC Statement on the Death of San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee

Today marks a very sad day for the City of San Francisco, the entire Bay Area and of course for the family of Mayor Ed Lee, 65, who passed away suddenly from a heart attack, in the early hours of this morning. The African Human Rights Coalition community would like to extend our deepest sympathy to the family of the Mayor, the City of San Francisco, as well as the LGBTQI community of the Bay Area. Mayor Lee was a former civil rights attorney who became the first Asian-American to serve in the city's top post, in the world-renowned City that celebrates diversity, inclusiveness, job creation, innovation, San Francisco Pride, immigrant rights, and the consistent support of sanctuary for undocumented residents.

On a level personal to African HRC, Mayor Lee acknowledged our work through his support of LGBTI equality and his compassion for LGBTI refugees and asylum seekers. Melanie Nathan, ED of African HRC noted: “I will not forget the Mayor’s care and compassion and his support of our work which he expressed when I was Community Grand Marshal for SF Pride, 2014. During my speech at Pink Triangle installation on Twin Peaks, Mayor Lee stood by my side, and commended our work, acknowledging the hardship for African LGBTI people and all who suffer due to homophobia. Lest we forget that it was in his City Hall that African HRC was able to celebrate the first lesbian asylum couples to marry in our City. I will remember Mayor Lee with fondness and as a man who did the best he could to balance the competing interests in our City.”

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