MA Attorney General Martha Coakley
We believe that the First Circuit’s ruling striking down the Defense of Marriage Act was correct and we look forward to the time when that discriminatory law is conclusively invalidated. Though the Supreme Court has chosen to take up the issue of DOMA’s constitutionality in another case – Windsor v. United States – my office will continue to work hard to support the parties involved. We are hopeful that the Supreme Court will decide, once and for all, that DOMA’s discrimination is unjustifiable and wrong.
This is an exciting moment in our journey toward equality. DOMA is a terrible law that forces our government to discriminate against loving same-sex couples, and it is time for it to go. It is clear that DOMA’s days are numbered. Every one of the cases that the Court was considering makes a clear and compelling case for striking down this outrageous and discriminatory law. As we have throughout this litigation, we will contribute support and file a friend-of-the-court brief. We look forward to working with the ACLU and other sister organizations in making this case before the Court. As for Hollingsworth v. Perry, while the Supreme Court’s decision to review the Ninth Circuit’s correct and carefully-worded ruling delays the restoration of equal access to marriage for same-sex couples in California, we believe the lower court rulings in California will stand.
Windsor is represented by attorneys from Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP; the American Civil Liberties Union; the New York Civil Liberties Union and the Stanford Law School Supreme Court Litigation Clinic. While New York and eight other states now give same-sex couples the freedom to marry, DOMA requires otherwise legally married same-sex couples like Edie and Thea to be treated by the federal government as if they had never married,” said New York Civil Liberties Union executive director, Donna Lieberman. “It is time for the Supreme Court to strike down this unconstitutional statute once and for all.”
NY Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell
While I am disappointed that Californians will now have to wait even longer for Marriage Equality to be restored in their state, I am profoundly hopeful that the Supreme Court is taking this opportunity to consider the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act. I was proud to help lead New York’s successful Marriage Equality fight, but until the federal government recognizes marriages like mine, we have not achieved true Marriage Equality.
DOMA creates a gay-only exception to federal recognition of state-licensed marriages, and we believe that the federal government should stop discriminating against same-sex couples legally married by their states. We know from working with legally married same-sex couples since 2004 in Massachusetts that DOMA undermines their security in every aspect of life and death. GLAD has been leading the fight for marriage equality for two decades, including the historic marriage equality breakthroughs in Massachusetts and Connecticut. That the issue will soon be heard by the Supreme Court is a vindication of our work to achieve equal protection under the law for same-sex couples. This day has been long in the making, and we are committed to the success of this case.
Empire State Pride Agenda
Although marriage equality in New York and the recent wins in Maine, Maryland and Washington were major victories, DOMA currently prevents our marriages from being recognized on the federal level. This means that our commitments are not honored and our families are not protected by the federal government. We are hopeful that the Supreme Court will grant all married couples, in New York and other states, the recognition they deserve by upholding the multiple lower court rulings that have already declared sections of DOMA and Proposition 8 unconstitutional. We view these deliberations as necessary to end discrimination and advance full equality for all Americans.
Human Rights Campaign
Today is a milestone day for equal justice under the law and for millions of loving couples who want to make a lifelong commitment through marriage. The passage of Proposition 8 caused heartbreak for so many Americans, but today’s announcement gives hope that we will see a landmark Supreme Court ruling for marriage this term. As the Court has ruled 14 times in the past, marriage is a fundamental right and I believe they will side with liberty, freedom and equality, moving us toward a more perfect union as they have done in the past. “Proposition 8 has been already been declared unconstitutional in Federal District Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Now the Supreme Court has an opportunity to do the same and send a resounding message of hope to LGBT young people from coast to coast that they have the same dignity and same opportunities for the future as everyone else.
Freedom To Marry
By agreeing to hear a case against the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, the Court can now move swiftly to affirm what 10 federal rulings have already said: DOMA’s ‘gay exception’ to how the federal government treats married couples violates the Constitution and must fall. When it comes to the whole federal safety net that accompanies marriage – access to Social Security survivorship, health coverage, family leave, fair tax treatment, family immigration, and over 1000 other protections and responsibilities — couples who are legally married in the states should be treated by the federal government as what they are: married.” “Additionally, gay and lesbian couples in California – and indeed, all over the country – now look to the Supreme Court to affirm that the Constitution does not permit states to strip something as important as the freedom to marry away from one group of Americans.
CA Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom
Today marks the beginning of the end for a California journey that started eight years ago when San Francisco issued same-sex marriage licenses. By agreeing to hear the Proposition 8 case the U.S. Supreme Court could end, once and for all, marriage inequity in California. Forty-five years after the Supreme Court ruled that marriages between interracial couples were constitutional in Loving vs. Virginia, Justices can once again reaffirm the basic American principal of equality for all. Today’s announcement starts the clock towards the final decision for California. History will one day be divided into the time before marriage equality and the period that follows. And thankfully, we will be on the side of history worthy of being proud of.
Marriage Equality USA
It’s crystal clear that the United States Supreme Court should rule in favor of the freedom to marry. Our Constitution guarantees every American the fundamental human right to marry the person they love – regardless of their race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or any other external characteristic. Proposition 8 targeted lesbian and gay people – and lesbian and gay people alone – to take away their freedom to marry and thus exclude them from the American dream. Proposition 8 cannot stand.
The recent election signaled just how far we’ve come on the path toward treating all families fairly, with landmark statewide victories affirming the right of loving, committed same-sex couples to share in the celebration and responsibilities of marriage. This long road to the high court has been filled with thousands of personal conversations about why marriage matters to us, and of how discrimination hurts our families. The transformative nature of talking about our love and our lives is clear, as we saw with the recent sweeping statewide marriage victories, and in the fact that the majority of Americans now supports the freedom to marry. But the journey is not finished, for as long as DOMA and Prop. 8 remain intact, then true equality remains out of reach. It’s time the Supreme Court strike down DOMA and Proposition 8, once and for all.
While we would have preferred for the court to decline to hear the Prop. 8 case — which would have immediately restored the freedom to marry in California — we’ve prepared for this and we intend to file a friend-of-the-court brief urging the court to find Prop. 8 unconstitutional. The arguments in favor of the freedom to marry are strong, and we are confident that they will receive a fair hearing from the court. And as we have seen in the last month, the nation has taken important steps forward toward affirming this basic human right — we know that full equality is coming.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
Today’s decision to hear these two cases on same-sex marriage in the nation’s highest court is truly historic. Already, first and second circuit federal appeals courts have deemed DOMA unconstitutional, and I am pleased the Supreme Court will soon have its voice heard on this important issue. Regardless of the Court’s ultimate decision, Congress will need to do its job too. It is well past time for the federal government to recognize the marriages of all loving and committed couples and finally put the discriminatory DOMA policy into the dustbin of history.
National Center for Lesbian Rights
Both the federal DOMA and California’s Proposition 8 serve only one purpose: to harm and stigmatize same-sex couples and their children. Without a doubt, Ted Olson, David Boies, and our colleagues at the ACLU will make the strongest possible case for equality before the Court. We are confident the Supreme Court will strike down DOMA once and for all next year, and, after four long years, will finally erase the stain of Proposition 8 and restore marriage equality to California couples.The day is now clearly in sight when the federal government, the State of California, and every state will recognize that same-sex couples and their children are entitled to the same respect and recognition as every other family.
Log Cabin Republicans
Today’s decision by the Supreme Court to review Proposition 8 and hear a challenge to DOMA is another step forward for California couples to marry, with the hope that the federal government will also recognize these marriages,” said Executive Director R. Clarke Cooper. “In recent years, many conservative judges have repudiated DOMA, and five of the eight justices who have overturned this anti-federalist and discriminatory statute were appointed by Republicans. Add conservative champions like for former Solicitor General, Ted Olson, and it becomes clear that true conservatism demands respect for the freedom to marry.
More as they arrive….