They have assembled in front of the hospital by the dozens: church groups, families, even a motorcycle club, their engines revving at full throttle. Mothers encouraged their shy children to squeeze through the crowd and place a bouquet of flowers at the base of a makeshift shrine. A member of the crowd conducted an impromptu choir, inviting others to join in and sing a hymn together.
For more than a month now, throngs of well-wishers have gathered outside the Mediclinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria, South Africa, praying for the health of former President Nelson Mandela.
Brian Mathers calls his husband, Isidro, in Mexico from his living room in Sioux City, Iowa. Brian and Isidro have been separated for more than a year by immigration laws that did not recognize their marriage.