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26 May 2015

GALA congratulates Irish LGBT groups on same-sex marriage victory

Dear friends and colleagues in Ireland,

Having had the opportunity to meet and collaborate with you all I am overjoyed to be writing this email, both in my personal capacity and on behalf of the Gay and Lesbian Memory in Action (GALA), a longtime LGBT organization working for LGBTIQ rights and justice in South Africa and in the region. As South African activists we watched the unfolding of the referendum on marriage equality in Ireland with great excitement and wide eyes  what a momentous campaign and a ground-breaking outcome! 

The tenacity, creativity and humor with which the campaign seized the YES vote is hugely inspiring, and its impact far-reaching. Never again will it be quite so easy for detractors to claim a general consensus – a kind of commonsense logic – that 'most people’ in a given country are against queer equality. In this sense the winning of the right to marry in Ireland by popular will is also a victory of imagination – of what national identity, belonging and democratic inclusivity can be. GALA salutes Marriage Equality, BelongTo, GLEN and all the other organizations and activists that made this possible.  In solidarity we celebrate Ireland's historic achievement in the wider struggles for global queer justice. 

Warm regards

Melanie Judge

Board member, GALA


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