A handful of California politicians have released statements today after the Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional, and issued a procedural ruling in the Proposition 8 case that allows a lower court decision striking down Proposition 8 to take effect, allowing same-sex marriages to resume in the state of California.
U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) issued the following statement:
“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.”
Representative Julia Brownley (D-Westlake Village) issued the following statement:
“Today, the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act and reaffirmed our country’s promise to the American people that all are equal under the law. This is a joyous moment for our nation as it moves one step closer to realizing our Constitution’s promise of equality for every American, no matter who they love.
“The highest court in the land also returned marriage equality to California and Ventura County, giving thousands of same-sex couples and their children the recognition and protection they deserve. As our country continues to move forward on marriage equality, we must keep working together to recognize equality for all Americans.”
Sen. Ted W. Lieu, D-Torrance, author of the nation’s first state ban on sexual orientation conversion therapy for children, issued the following statement in response to today’s rulings by the Supreme Court of the United States:
“Progress will not be stopped.”
Rep. Henry A. Waxman issued the following statement:
In U.S. v. Windsor, the “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA) case, the Supreme Court took a historic step to end hurtful and demeaning discrimination against gay couples. Justice Kennedy courageously recognized that all married couples deserve the same recognition, dignity, and rights. The Court says that the federal DOMA statute limiting marriage serves no legitimate purpose. This is clearly the only right answer and it is long overdue.
But this is simply the first step in fixing the harm that DOMA has caused. The Court notes that there are many places in federal laws and programs that discriminate against same-sex couples and their families — from Social Security benefits to student loans to veterans’ cemeteries. We must now begin the complicated and detailed work in each of these programs to make them equal and fair. I will work in all programs and through all bureaucracies to advocate those changes.
In Hollingsworth v. Perry, the Proposition 8 case, the Court came to part of the right result but stopped short. It is true that once the State of California stopped defending Prop. 8, there really was no one who had the right to go into court and take the State’s place.
The District Court’s original opinion recognizes the fundamental right of Californians to marry whom they want to marry. But the Supreme Court didn’t—and that failure is going to mean years of further litigation throughout the Nation. That new litigation could have been avoided if the Supreme Court had simply recognized that marriage is a fundamental right that should be equally available to all people, gay or straight. There will likely be litigation even in California to try to challenge the District Court holding and what follows from it. I hope these suits will be quickly dismissed and that Californians can move on.
I will work with state and federal officials to finish this work as soon as possible. But I regret that Americans in other States will have to re-argue and repeat this issue again and again until one day in the future, the Supreme Court will finally say for everyone what it has said to the federal government in the DOMA case: Marriage brings recognition, dignity, and integrity to couples and their families, and keeping gay and lesbian people from getting married serves no legitimate purpose. That day will come.
There has been great progress on LGBT issues over the years, and it is accelerating. I have supported federal legislation prohibiting discrimination for my entire congressional career. I look forward to national equality.