UPDATE: Lawmakers and others react to Supreme Court gay marriage ruling

UPDATED Wednesday, June 26, 2013 --- 12:44 p.m.
Posted Wednesday, June 26, 2013 --- 11:51 a.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama is applauding the Supreme court's decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act. Obama says the court "has righted a wrong, and our country is better off for it."

Obama says he has directed Attorney General Eric Holder to work with others in his administration to make sure federal law reflects the court's decision.

He also says that nothing in the decision changes how religious institutions define and consecrate marriage.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Statement in Response to Supreme Court Decisions on Marriage Equality Cases

Washington D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin released the following statement in response to the Supreme Court decisions on marriage equality cases.

“The debate over marriage equality is about fairness – about whether gay and lesbian Americans deserve to be treated just like their family members, their friends, and their neighbors. It’s about opportunity – about whether every American gets to dream the same dreams, chase the same ambitions, and have the same shot at success. And it’s about freedom –the freedom to love, the freedom to commit, the freedom to build a family. Most of all, it’s about whether the progress our country has made will be reflected in our laws.

“One thing is clear; people’s views on marriage equality are changing because they believe LGBT family members, friends, and neighbors deserve to be treated like everyone else in the United States.

“Today the U.S. Supreme Court issued decisions in two historic cases that reflect the progress we have all witnessed across our country. This progress is defined by the ideal that more and more Americans want to leave to the next generation a country that is more equal, not less.

“The nation’s highest court reaffirmed our founding belief that all Americans are created equal under the law. The Court made a strong statement for equality and freedom, overturning discrimination against gay and lesbian American citizens simply because of who they love.

“While this is a huge step forward for our country, the fight to make America more equal does not end with a Supreme Court decision. There is more work to be done to fulfill the promise of freedom and equality for all – in which America becomes a place where every family’s love and commitment can be recognized and respected under the law.”

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Statement from U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-02)

WASHINGTON– U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-02), a co-chair of the LGBT Equality Caucus and the only current married gay member of Congress, today issued the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and to dismiss the Prop 8 case on a lack of standing. As a result of today’s rulings, married same-sex couples in the states that recognize same-sex marriage will now also be recognized by the federal government and have access to federal rights, obligations and protections. However, because Pocan lives in Wisconsin, a state that does not recognize same-sex marriage, his marriage will not be affected by the Court’s ruling. By dismissing the Prop 8 case, thousands of same-sex couples in California that had previously been married can once again have their marriage recognized by the state.

“I am overjoyed that the Supreme Court has come down on the side of equality, justice and love by striking down the Defense of Marriage Act,” Pocan said. “No more will thousands of loving gay and lesbian couples see their marriage ignored by the federal government, leaving them without the protections opposite-sex married couples enjoy. With 93 million Americans now living in states that recognize same-sex marriages, and 58 percent of the country in favor of marriage equality, we now have the public, the courts and the Constitution on our side.

“I am also thrilled that by dismissing the Perry case, thousands of same-sex couples and families in California can once again have their love respected under the law, and Prop 8 can once again take its rightful place in our country’s history books.

“As we celebrate this momentous occasion, we must continue to move forward and ensure all loving couples are treated as equals. While my husband Phil and I continue to wait to have our marriage recognized by both Wisconsin and Washington, I am now more confident than ever that full marriage equality is a question not of if, but when.”

Pocan, a co-chair of the LGBT Equality Caucus, is the only current gay-married member of Congress. His husband, Phil, was recently issued a congressional spouse ID—the first ever spousal ID issued to a partner of a gay member.

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Statement of Senate Democratic Leader Larson on Supreme Court of the United States Ruling for Equality

MADISON – Today, Senate Democratic Leader Chris Larson released the following statement regarding the rulings in favor of equality for all Americans.

“Today, our country's highest court ruled that it is unconstitutional to deny legally married couples the right to over 1,100 federal benefits. This is a good day for families, for equality, and for justice. While it’s no secret that the Supreme Court is often divided along ideological lines, today's decision is a refreshing reminder that in the eyes of justice, equality is not a partisan issue.

“I am hopeful that the governor and my colleagues in Wisconsin will take a page from our highest court today, and remember that we should be doing what is right for our neighbors instead of continuing with the politics of division.

“It is only a matter of time before the divisive language in our state constitution is eliminated and our state moves forward on the better side of history. Individuals should have the right to marry whom he or she chooses, regardless of what the government says about it.”

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Senator Mark Miller’s Statement on DOMA Strike down by the Supreme Court

Madison – “I am thrilled with the Supreme Court’s decision today to strike down DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) and to uphold the lower court decision to extend marriage equality to California residents. These decisions keep our country on the rapidly broadening path to full marriage equality for all Americans.

“With the addition of California today, marriage equality is now available to residents of one quarter of the states….over 30% of the national population. Gay Americans have fought a long and tumultuous battle for equality. They want to be equal before the law. Public opinion supports them. The law in more and more states now supports them.

“Love is a powerful emotion that includes all of humanity. Marriage is a covenant of devotion that should be available to all. Wisconsin will eventually recognize marriage equality; my hope is that we will do it soon.”

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Bishop Morlino offers comment on today’s Supreme Court decisions
(Madison, WI)

Bishop Robert C. Morlino, Bishop of Madison, offers the following brief comment, in response to decisions made public today (June, 26, 2013) by the Supreme Court of the United States, with regard to the institution of marriage:

“It is unclear exactly what the Supreme Court decisions will legally me an in our country. The fact remains that marriage means something, and this something is from God and cannot be changed by us, our laws, or by our courts. The truth of marriage is an absolute, with which we have no right to meddle. It is very clear what the Church’s response will be. We will tirelessly continue to promote the truth about marriage (and about all other matters) until the end of time. We have an obligation, in charity to the entire world, to do so. May God bless all people of good will who stand with us.”

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Rep. Chris Taylor applauds gay rights rulings

MADISON – Today, the United States Supreme Court issued two rulings that will impact how states and our nation treat same-sex families. The court issued pro-family rulings that struck down portions of the Defense of Marriage Act and effectively killed California’s discriminatory Proposition 8. As a result of the twin rulings, federal benefits will be extended to couples in states where same-sex marriage is legal and will result in California’s previous Marriage Equality Statute going into effect. In response, Rep. Chris Taylor issued the following statement:

“Fairness won out today when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of love and equality and against hate and discrimination. The more we discuss the issue of marriage equality in our nation, the more Americans come to understand that treating people differently based on who they love is simply wrong. Today, the Supreme Court began to codify what a majority of Americans already believe; that we should all be treated equally, regardless of who we love.

“While we should celebrate the court’s decision today, it is imperative that we remember that millions of Americans continue to be discriminated against based on who they love right here in Wisconsin and in states throughout our country. We must use these victories to continue to push for marriage equality in every state in our nation.”

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Former President Bill Clinton is welcoming the Supreme Court decision striking down a provision of the Defense of Marriage Act, which he signed into law in 1996.

In a joint statement with former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, the former president said the court recognized that discrimination toward any group holds all Americans back in efforts to form a more perfect union.

The Clintons also said they were encouraged that gay marriage may soon resume in California.

They congratulated the advocates and plaintiffs in the cases.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Attorney General Eric Holder says the Supreme Court's decision declaring the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional is an "enormous triumph" for equal protection under the law for all Americans.

Holder says that at the president's direction, the Justice Department will work expeditiously with other executive branch agencies to implement the court's decision. The attorney general said the Justice Department is committed to using every tool and legal authority available to combat discrimination and to safeguard the rights of all Americans.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press


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