Gay Rights Advocates React To Marriage Equality Rulings

From Mark Leno, California State Senator:

Today is also an affirmation of the power of coming out, telling our stories and putting love and authenticity foremost in our lives. With legal doctrine, legislative victories and public opinion increasingly on our side, LGBT Americans can finally envision a day where future generations will look back and wonder how this outcome could have ever been in doubt and why it took so long to happen.

From Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders:

The Court has removed the stain and the insult that is DOMA. This is an enormous victory and a joyous day for loving, married couples and their families – and for thousands of couples in California who will now be able to express their commitment through marriage.

Today, the Supreme Court affirmed that there should be no gay exception in how the federal government regards marriage. If you are married, you are married.

Married couples now come before the federal government as equals.

From U.S. Rep Jared Polis:

Today we have made great progress in the fight for equal rights. The Supreme Court’s decision will have an enormous impact on same-sex couples’ lives legally, fiscally and emotionally. Moments like these make me proud to be American – proud to live in a country where the constitution affirms that all people are created equal and where our judicial system is working to ensure all citizens have access to liberty and justice.

While today our country has taken an important step closer to full equality, there is still more work to be done. We must gain strength from this tremendous triumph and take action now to ensure that members of the LGBT community are treated equally and have the same protections under the law as every other American.

Let’s work together to pass legislation ensuring that LGBT people and families are not discriminated against in the workplace, in schools or when it comes to housing or public accommodations.

From Equality Florida:

For those of us who live in state’s like Florida where our marriages are still not recognized, today’s rulings are a reminder that we cannot wait for justice to be handed to us, we are going to have to get engaged and fight.

A majority of Floridians support the freedom to marry, and this is our moment to stand up and get engaged on the right side of history.

Today our rights as Americans are not based on our shared citizenship, but upon our geographic location. More than 86 million Americans, nearly one-third of the country, live in states with full marriage equality, with the state and federal protections families need. Today the Supreme Court has said we can go states like Minnesota or Iowa and get married, but we return to Florida legal strangers in our home state.

From Tammy Baldwin, the only openly lesbian member of the U.S. Senate:

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.

From People for the American Way Foundation:

Today’s DOMA ruling is a profound step forward for loving, committed same-sex couples across the country. The decision is premised on the plain fact that there is no good reason for the government to recognize some legally married couples while discriminating against others.

While the outcome of Hollingsworth v. Perry reflects a missed opportunity to affirm the freedom to marry nationwide, it also serves a long-overdue restoration of justice to the thousands of loving couples in California who suddenly saw their marriages put up for a popular vote. This decision clears the way for same-sex couples in California to once again be treated equally under the law.

Today isn’t just a good day for the LGBT community. It’s an important victory for all Americans who value the principle of equal justice under law and who believe that the long arc of the universe bends ultimately towards justice.

I couldn’t be happier that Section Three of DOMA and Prop 8 have been consigned to the dustbin of history. But we won’t rest until couples in every state have an equal right to marry the under the law. There’s plenty of work left to do. We can’t wait to do it.

From Americans United for the Separation of Church and State:

Civil marriage law should be based on principles of fairness, liberty and equality, not religious doctrine. These decisions are important steps toward that goal.

Religious Right groups and their allies are fighting a losing battle to impose their theology and moral views about marriage on everyone. The decisions today are two more losses for their discriminatory agenda.

It’s important to remember that houses of worship remain free to marry whomever they chose. These decisions impact only civil marriage, not denominational rules governing weddings.

From American Jewish World Service:

We applaud today’s historic decisions by the Supreme Court to strike down discriminatory laws as a major victory for equal rights for LGBTI people in the United States. We believe that this is one of the necessary steps to ensure that the human rights of people of all sexual orientations are respected everywhere in the world.

Too many people in too many countries are ostracized, threatened and assaulted just for living their lives and loving others of the same gender. In 76 countries, people can be arrested for having sex with someone of the same gender and in five countries the punishment is the death penalty.

As the Jewish voice for LBGTI rights worldwide, we are proud to support LGBTI activists in Cambodia, El Salvador, Haiti, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Uganda and elsewhere. These defenders ofhuman rights stand up for the dignity and rights of every person, and they put their lives on the line to defend the human rights of the LGBTI people.