UN chief hails US’ same-sex marriage ruling

United Nations, June 27 (IANS) UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has hailed the US decision to legalise same-sex marriage in all 50 states, a media report said on Saturday.

The US Supreme Court on Friday ruled that same-sex marriage is a legal right across the country that meant that the 14 states with bans will no longer be able to enforce them, Xinhua reported.

“The secretary-general welcomes the decision of the Supreme Court that paves the way for gay and lesbian Americans to have their relationships legally recognised, no matter what part of the country they live in,” deputy UN spokesman Farhan Haq said.

“The secretary-general called it a great step forward for human rights.”

“He is a strong believer in equality and in the equal worth and dignity of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people,” he added.

Same-sex couples in several affected states, including Georgia, Michigan, Ohio and Texas, rushed to wed on Friday.

Officials in other states, including Mississippi and Louisiana, said marriages had to wait until procedural issues were addressed.

“Denying couples legal recognition of their relationship opens the door to widespread discrimination,” Haq said.

“This ruling will help close that door and marks a great step forward for human rights in the US. The secretary-general joins the LGBT community and its millions of allies in celebrating this historic decision.”

US President Barack Obama said the ruling was a “victory for America”.

“When all Americans are treated as equal, we are all more free,” he said.

The ruling brings to an end more than a decade of bitter legal battles.

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