International reaction to DOMA repeal

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Following Wednesday’s rulings by the Supreme Court to uphold equal marriage rights, the news has reverberated across the globe. 

Here is some of the reaction from international commentators, activists and personalities around the world. 

“Today’s landmark DOMA judgement provides the global gay community with hope,” UK human rights lawyer S Chelvan told 429Magazine. 

“Justice Kennedy’s ruling that treating same-sex couples differently from straight couples is an affront to dignity, undermines the core of the anti-equal marriage proponents here in the UK. Kennedy ruled that our children should not feel inferior. We are all ‘a family’. This is a truly wonderful day,” added Chelvan.

“If I weren’t resting my voice, I would shout with joy at today’s #doma and #prop8 news! Though it irks me to be grateful for equality,” tweeted Scottish actor Alan Cumming.

Meanwhile, actor Russell Brand tweeted “If you’re gay married in California your gay marriage is now legal. Good.” and TV presenter Piers Morgan tweeted “RIP bigotry. #SCOTUS #DOMA.”

“We welcome the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down Section 3 of DOMA to ensure that legally married same-sex couples can access federal benefits. However, we are concerned about the Court’s decision on California’s Proposition 8 which effectively punts on the issue of marriage equality for same-sex couples throughout the United States,” said Amnesty International’s Frank Jannuzi.

Ruth Messinger, President of the American World Jewish Service, the eighth largest funder of LGBTI rights worldwide, applauded the Supreme Court’s decisions with the hope that it would lead to human rights advancements globally.

“I think today’s Supreme Court Decision should provide hope for lesbian and gay people worldwide. In too many countries, LGBTI people are ostracized, threatened and assaulted just for living their lives and loving others of the same gender,” Messinger told 429Magazine.

“There is a movement in Asia, Africa and the Americas to turn this violation of human rights around and create societies that respect the essential dignity of every human being,” she added.

Filmmaker Shiv Paul spoke of how the struggle for equal rights had succeeded, if not completely.

“I was born in India, brought up in the UK and now live in the US and in each place I’ve witnessed discrimination against people whether its because of their nationality, the colour of their skin, their gender, their ability, their religion or their sexuality,” Paul told 429Magazine. 

“Thanks to all those who have fought against the facts they were given for a different truth – women, people of colour and, today, members of the gay and lesbian community – tomorrow will be a little more equal for all.” 

Hungarian activist Adrian Balaci and American ex-pat Dennis Bradley talked to 429Magazine about the effect DOMA’s repeal would have on trans-national LGBT couples.

“Well the first and foremost effect will be on the foreign partners of US citizens, I think this is an amazing accomplishment, one that should have been achieved 20 years ago. For these couples, it can really open the doors, it can allow them to move freely and live as a proper family,” said Balaci.

“For me, first and foremost, I am unbelievably happy with this news. I am an ex-pat living in the UK. One reason is that I could not sponsor my partner into the States,” said Bradley. 

Editor of the Irish GCN Magazine, Brian Finnegan, summed up the impact of the June 26 rulings for many countries:

“I think the Supreme Court decision is the signal, for Ireland at least, that this battle is won.”

429Magazine

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