News / USA

Obama Gay Marriage Stance Draws Mixed Reaction Worldwide

(L-R) Same-sex marriage advocate John Lewis and Stuart Gaffney speak during a celebratory toast to Obama's support of same-sex marriage in San Francisco, California, May 9, 2012.(L-R) Same-sex marriage advocate John Lewis and Stuart Gaffney speak during a celebratory toast to Obama's support of same-sex marriage in San Francisco, California, May 9, 2012.
x
(L-R) Same-sex marriage advocate John Lewis and Stuart Gaffney speak during a celebratory toast to Obama's support of same-sex marriage in San Francisco, California, May 9, 2012.
(L-R) Same-sex marriage advocate John Lewis and Stuart Gaffney speak during a celebratory toast to Obama's support of same-sex marriage in San Francisco, California, May 9, 2012.
U.S. President Barack Obama's expression of support for same-sex marriage is generating both praise and criticism here in the United States. People around the world are also taking time to reflect on his historic announcement.

An Egyptian florist in Cairo, Said Mohamed Hemeida, says he does not approve of men marrying men or women marrying women.

He says it is bad and wrong for a president of a republic to think like that. He says he doesn't think it is in America's interest.  
 
Mr. Obama said Wednesday in a televised U.S. interview that he supports same-sex marriage. It was a significant shift of position from his earlier statements on the subject, when he said his view on the matter was "evolving."

In South Africa, same-sex marriage is already legal, although political analyst Eusebius McKaiser, of the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, says the majority of South Africans are opposed to it. He blames the dichotomy on South Africa's conversion from white minority rule to black majority rule in 1994.

"In America by contrast, civil rights have always been won in an evolutionary way," said  McKaiser. "In South Africa, we had a revolutionary break with the past, which is why our legislation in favor of gay rights is so much more progressive, even though it is ahead of social attitudes."

In conservative South Korea, Lee Jong-geol, general director of a gay men's rights group, Chingusai, says he expects his countrymen to be slow to adapt to the idea of same-sex marriage.
 
He says he doesn't think gay marriage will happen in South Korea in the near term, even if it is legally accepted by American society.

In Argentina - the first Latin American nation to legalize same-sex marriage - gay activist Jose Maria Di Bello praised Mr. Obama's statements to a crowd gathered outside the Buenos Aires building hosting the Argentine National Congress. They were celebrating passage of further gender-rights legislation.

He says he welcomes President Obama's comments. He says gay marriage is a matter of respecting the concept and the principle of equality.

Elsewhere Germany's openly gay foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle, has praised the Obama statement, calling it a courageous step. But Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has vowed to vote against legalization of same-sex marriage when bill comes before the Australian parliament later this year.   Their comments reflect the mixed reception Mr. Obama's historic announcement has generated both at home and abroad.

You May Like

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid