National News

Statements on Supreme Court same-sex marriage rulings

"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."
President Barack Obama

"Today my spirits are soaring because the Supreme Court reaffirmed the promise of America by rejecting two blatantly unconstitutional measures that discriminated against millions of our families. I was proud to have voted against the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, and it is so heartening to see that the federal government will now treat all marriages equally. Because of the Court's ruling on Proposition 8, millions of Californians will be able to marry the person they love - with all the rights and responsibilities that go along with it."
Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.)

"Today, we have taken another momentous step on the path to full equality and dignity for all Californians and all Americans. By striking down the Defense of Marriage Act, the Supreme Court has affirmed a basic American truth: bigotry and bias have no place in our laws. And with the Court's decision on Prop 8, California is poised to become the thirteenth state in America with full marriage equality. Today, we celebrate a victory for love and fairness, a victory for same-sex couples who only want to follow their hearts and marry the person they love. As we move closer to a more perfect union, we will continue to make our case: if we truly believe in family values, we should value all families."
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa

"The Supreme Court bent the arc of history once again toward justice. The court placed itself on the right side of history by discarding Section 3 of the defenseless Defense of Marriage Act and by allowing marriage equality for all families in California. The highest court in the land reaffirmed the promise inscribed into its walls: 'equal justice under law.'"
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)

"While I am obviously disappointed in the ruling, it is always critical that we protect our system of checks and balances. A robust national debate over marriage will continue in the public square, and it is my hope that states will define marriage as the union between one man and one woman."
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio)

"The Supreme Court's decision affirms that all couples, regardless of their sexual orientation, deserve the same rights and opportunities under the law that my wife and I enjoy. The Defense of Marriage Act was a discriminatory law that unfairly treated LGBT couples differently, and has rightly been relegated to the dust bin of history."
Sen. Michael Bennet, (D-Colo.)

"At long last, the legal marriages of countless gay and lesbian couples will be afforded the same federal recognition and protections as any other. Today is a cornerstone for justice and equality- when our nation once again moved closer to recognizing and celebrating all LGBT Americans for their contributions to our great country."
GLAAD spokesperson Wilson Cruz

"While we are disappointed in the Supreme Court's decision to strike down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, the court today did not impose the sweeping nationwide redefinition of natural marriage that was sought. Time is not on the side of those seeking to create same-sex 'marriage.' As the American people are given time to experience the actual consequences of redefining marriage, the public debate and opposition to the redefinition of natural marriage will undoubtedly intensify."
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council

"This is a watershed moment for equality and a clear statement from the highest court in the land that discrimination and hatred have no place in a country founded on the principles of liberty, justice and equality."
Rick Jacobs, chair of the California-based CourageCampaign.org

"At the heart of the gay marriage argument is an untruth: unions of two men or women are not the same as unions of husband and wife. The law cannot make it so, it can only require us to paint pretty pictures to cover up deep truths embedded in human nature."
Maggie Gallagher, fellow at the American Principles Project and co-founder of the National Organization for Marriage

"Today's ruling affirms what we stand for as Americans - the guarantee that every person and every family is given equal respect under the law. It means that married same-sex couples can participate fully in federal programs that provide much-needed security for American families."
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y)

sacred institution. They neglected our most precious children who need a mother and a father united in marriage for healthy development."
Rev. William Owens, president of Coalition of African-American Pastors

"Marriage is the true foundation for strong families. Every loving, committed couple deserves the basic human right to get married, start a family, and be treated equally under the law. No politician from this day forward should try to stand in the way of this fact."
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, (D-N.Y)

"The U.S. Supreme Court's decision today puts the court on the right side of history. DOMA is unjust, un-American, and out of step with the values of our country."
Rep. Jim Moran, (D-Va.)

"Today's rulings advance civil marriage equality, but they should also serve as a call for Christians to embrace religious marriage equality. Countless faithful Christians have lived out their lives in committed same-sex relationships, and we have seen the fruits of their fidelity in our families, our congregations and our communities. If we use this historic moment to see more clearly how their faithfulness contributes to the common good, we will better be able to walk with our LGBT sisters and brothers as an act of Christian faith."
Rev. Gary Hall, dean of Washington National Cathedral

"We still have a long way to go, as far as marriage equality throughout the country, but as a military spouse it is a great day to be an American."
Ashley Broadway, a mother of two small children and married to Lt. Col. Heather Mack, stationed at Fort Bragg, N.C.

Full story: Same-sex marriage: Federal marriage provision struck down

Full story: High Court clears way for gay marriage in California