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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, June 28, 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 26
Reactions to this week's historic Supreme Court marriage equality decisions
Section One
ALL STORIES
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Reactions to this week's historic Supreme Court marriage equality decisions

BARACK OBAMA
President

'I applaud the Supreme Court's decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act. This was discrimination enshrined in law. It treated loving, committed Gay and Lesbian couples as a separate and lesser class of people. The Supreme Court has righted that wrong, and our country is better off for it. We are a people who declared that we are all created equal - and the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.

'This ruling is a victory for couples who have long fought for equal treatment under the law; for children whose parents' marriages will now be recognized, rightly, as legitimate; for families that, at long last, will get the respect and protection they deserve; and for friends and supporters who have wanted nothing more than to see their loved ones treated fairly and have worked hard to persuade their nation to change for the better.

'So we welcome today's decision, and I've directed the Attorney General to work with other members of my Cabinet to review all relevant federal statutes to ensure this decision, including its implications for federal benefits and obligations, is implemented swiftly and smoothly.

'On an issue as sensitive as this, knowing that Americans hold a wide range of views based on deeply held beliefs, maintaining our nation's commitment to religious freedom is also vital. How religious institutions define and consecrate marriage has always been up to those institutions. Nothing about this decision - which applies only to civil marriages - changes that.

'The laws of our land are catching up to the fundamental truth that millions of Americans hold in our hearts: when all Americans are treated as equal, no matter who they are or whom they love, we are all more free.'

PATTY MURRAY
U.S. Senator (D-WA)

'Today is a day of joy for all of the loving, committed LGBT couples across America, including the more than 2,400 couples who married in my home state of Washington this year, and for all of us who respect and support them. Thanks to the LGBT and allied communities' commitment to achieving equality, today's ruling is a true demonstration that the tide is turning, and it is turning rapidly across the country.

'This is a great day for the civil rights and marriage equality movement. Following this good news, I'm going to work with the administration and my colleagues in Congress to ensure that all the rights and federal benefits enjoyed by married couples are provided to LGBT couples as quickly as possible, including to unite binational LGBT couples who have been split apart by this discriminatory law.

'While there is much to celebrate today, the fight is not over and I will continue working until who a person loves, or where they live, no longer determines their eligibility for the federal protections and responsibilities other married couples enjoy.'

MARIA CANTWELL
U.S. Senator (D-WA)

'This is a historic day for equal rights in our nation and in Washington state. Our state was a trailblazer in recognizing the right of same-sex couples to marry and helped in setting the stage for this historic ruling. All Washingtonians will receive the equal treatment they deserve in the eyes of federal law for the first time. Our state's same-sex married couples will now get the same federal benefits and recognition as heterosexual couples.

'I was proud to join my colleagues in signing an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to declare the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. I am pleased that the Supreme Court acknowledged this fundamental right.'

JIM McDERMOTT
U.S. Representative (D-WA)

'Today is a great day for equality. Since its passage, the Defense of Marriage Act has institutionalized bigotry and discrimination and it is long past time that it should be struck down. My Gay and Lesbian married constituents will finally be able to take part in over 1,000 federal marriage rights afforded to straight couples.

'Uncertainty remains for LGBT couples living in 37 states where marriage isn't legal, and I will continue to fight for their equal representation under the law. With that said, I celebrate this victory.'

ADAM SMITH
U.S. Representative (D-WA)

'The Supreme Court's rulings on marriage equality today are a huge step forward for our country. By striking down DOMA, the Supreme Court has ruled in favor the Constitutional right to equality for all Americans regardless of who they love. Married same-sex couples will finally be recognized by the federal government and receive benefits previously denied, such as Social Security survivor benefits, shared health insurance, and tax benefits for married couples. Additionally, the Supreme Court ruled to return the right for same-sex couples to marry in California by allowing the lower courts to repeal Proposition 8.

'Even with these rulings, significant work remains to ensure equal rights to the LGBT community. Same-sex couples living in states that don't recognize all marriages still face uncertainty and discrimination. LGBT people can still be denied work simply based on who they are. Bullying in our schools is still a dangerous epidemic among youth who are or are perceived to be LGBT, and homelessness and poverty rates are still unacceptably high among LGBT people. The Supreme Court's decisions exhibit the tremendous progress we have made towards full equality, but we must remain committed to doing all we can to make sure equal opportunity and justice are realities for all Americans.'

ED MURRAY
Washington State Senator (D-43)

'Today's historic decisions by the United States Supreme Court overturning DOMA and dismissing the challenge to marriage equality in California are the culmination of the great civil rights struggle of our current generation. It would not have happened without the brave, tireless work of countless thousands of determined Americans, both Gay and straight. And the people of Washington state helped to lead the way, upholding our marriage equality law at the ballot last November. I am so proud of you all, and so proud of our country. Together, we have changed the course of history for the better, expanding equality and opportunity for all.'

ERIC HOLDER
U.S. Attorney General

'Today's historic decision in the case of United States v. Windsor, declaring Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, is an enormous triumph for equal protection under the law for all Americans. The Court's ruling gives real meaning to the Constitution's promise of equal protection to all members of our society, regardless of sexual orientation. This decision impacts a broad array of federal laws.

'At the President's direction, the Department of Justice will work expeditiously with other Executive Branch agencies to implement the Court's decision. Despite this momentous victory, our nation's journey - towards equality, opportunity, and justice for everyone in this country - is far from over. Important, life-changing work remains before us. And, as we move forward in a manner consistent with the Court's ruling, the Department of Justice is committed to continuing this work, and using every tool and legal authority available to us to combat discrimination and to safeguard the rights of all Americans.'

CHUCK HAGEL
U.S. Secretary of Defense

'The Department of Defense welcomes the Supreme Court's decision today on the Defense of Marriage Act. The department will immediately begin the process of implementing the Supreme Court's decision in consultation with the Department of Justice and other executive branch agencies. The Department of Defense intends to make the same benefits available to all military spouses - regardless of sexual orientation - as soon as possible. That is now the law and it is the right thing to do.

'Every person who serves our nation in uniform stepped forward with courage and commitment. All that matters is their patriotism, their willingness to serve their country, and their qualifications to do so. Today's ruling helps ensure that all men and women who serve this country can be treated fairly and equally, with the full dignity and respect they so richly deserve.'

BILL AND HILLARY CLINTON
Former President and former U.S. Secretary of State

'By overturning the Defense of Marriage Act, the Court recognized that discrimination towards any group holds us all back in our efforts to form a more perfect union. We are also encouraged that marriage equality may soon return to California. We applaud the hard work of the advocates who have fought so relentlessly for this day, and congratulate Edie Windsor on her historic victory.'

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DOMA IS DEAD! - Prop 8 appeal dismissed!
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Ron Sims endorses Ed Murray for Mayor
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Reactions to this week's historic Supreme Court marriage equality decisions
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From the Publisher's Desk
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