The Dalai Lama recently made headlines when he came out in (admittedly lackluster) support of gay marriage, saying “If two people — a couple — really feel that way is more practical, more sort of satisfaction, both sides fully agree, then OK.”
It got us thinking about other world leaders who have voiced support. Here’s how they stack up:
Though a bit wishy-washy on the subject in the past, Obama has now made it clear that he supports marriage equality.
“I think not only is it right and fair but also consistent with our Constitution to recognize same-sex couples,” he said in an interview with Telemundo.
“It doesn’t mean everybody has to agree from a religious standpoint about this issue. It does mean that it is very important for us to remember that we’re a nation where everybody is supposed to be equal before the law.”
Zoran Milanovic, Prime Minister of Croatia
When Milanovic announced his plans to lay down a legal foundation to recognize same-sex marriage, he said, “It is essential to assure greater judicial security to people who are also part of our community.”
There’s some Balkan wisdom for you.
David Cameron, Prime Minister of Great Britain
Cameron is outspokenly for gay marriage, and has been known to try and convince his more narrow-thinking party members to change their views, telling them, “Yes, it’s about equality, but it’s also about something else: commitment. Conservatives believe in the ties that bind us; that society is stronger when we make vows to each other and support each other.”
We wish American conservatives like
Jabba the Hutt Rush Limbaugh would take a cue from across the pond.
François Hollande, President of France
Not only did Hollande get gay marriage legalized when he took office in 2013, he’s also spoken out about international oppression of gays and lesbians.
Addressing the United Nations General Assembly, he said, “This is the reason for which the France will continue to conduct all these struggles: for the abolition of the death penalty, for women’s rights to equality and dignity, for the universal decriminalization of homosexuality, which should not be recognized as a crime but, on the contrary, recognized as a [sexual] orientation.”
John Key, Prime Minister of New Zealand
After Obama came out in support of marriage equality, Key followed suit, telling the press, “I think the great thing about [Obama's] announcement is it helps to highlight the issue of equality and keep it on the agenda and more and more New Zealanders are saying it’s a no-brainer, people should have these rights.”
Cristina Kirchner, President of Argentina
As she pushed for Argentina’s gay marriage bill to pass (which it did, to the dismay of many a Catholic), Kirchner said, “I believe it would be a terrible distortion of democracy if the majorities – the actions of those majorities – denied rights to those minorities.”