Reaction To US Supreme Court Ruling On Gay Marriage
Read a sampling of reaction to the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling today.
Senator Bob Menendez (D)
“As a member of Congress who signed the amicus brief urging this decision, I am thrilled that the Supreme Court took a strong stand for marriage equality. The Supreme Court’s decision upholding the rights of gay and lesbian married couples stands as an affirmation of equal protection under the law for everyone, regardless of our sexual orientation. Now there can be no ambiguity. You cannot be discriminated against simply because of whom you love. Our nation will provide and protect the rights and privileges of married people – period.”
Democratic gubernatorial candidate and State Senator Barbara Buono
“The Supreme Court’s decision overturning the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is a landmark moment for our country, our values and all those who have waited so many years to see this day. For too long, our gay brothers and sisters were discriminated against under the law simply because of who they loved.
The DOMA violated our core beliefs as Americans – that all citizens deserve equal justice and equal rights under the law. Today’s ruling affirms that all Americans, regardless of their sexual orientation, must be treated equally and offered the same benefits under federal law. While the battle was arduous and the fighting was fierce, our country now stands firmly on the right side of history as a more free and welcoming place for all to live and love.”
Congressman Frank Pallone (D)
“In 1996, I was one of a small minority of members of Congress to vote in oppositions of DOMA because I believe that it is unconstitutional and violates equal protection under the law. Earlier this year, I joined with many of my colleagues in submitting an amicus brief to the Supreme Court arguing that the law should be found unconstitutional. .
“Today’s ruling is a huge victory for equality. The Supreme Court has held what I have been arguing for more than a decade—DOMA is unconstitutional. Yet it is still just one step in the march towards total equality for all Americans. I remain strongly in support of repealing DOMA in its entirety and passing the Respect for Marriage Act so that all marriages between two committed individuals in the United States are recognized by the federal government.
“It is imperative that all Americans are able to enjoy the same rights, and that means putting an end to discrimination in all forms. That’s why in March, I led a letter with 110 of members of Congress calling on President Obama to issue an executive order prohibiting federal contractors without sexual orientation and gender identity anti-discrimination policies from receiving federal funds. All workers should be free from workplace discrimination and it is unconscionable for tax dollars to go to companies that do not have equal protection policies.
“It is time that we put an end to discrimination in our nation once and for all. The equal treatment of all Americans is the guiding principle of our democracy and we need to make sure that our laws reflect the values we support. Whether it is in the workplace or in our communities, all Americans deserve to be treated the same.
“I am thrilled by today’s ruling and optimistic that it well usher in a new era of equality in our nation. I look forward to standing resolute in the fight to tear down the remaining barriers standing before the LGBT community and I applaud the Court for its decision today, which moved us closer toward total equality.”
Assembly Speaker and Congressional Candidate Sheila Oliver (D)
“Today’s ruling is a tremendous victory for equality. I have long said that there is no place for discrimination in our laws or our constitution and this ruling affirms that.
“DOMA’s discrimination went well beyond just the ability for same-sex couples to get married. Today’s decision illuminates the layers of discrimination that have been allowed to exist under this federal ban, the roughly one thousand discriminatory and financially-costly practices that have affected every facet of same-sex couples’ lives.
“This is a major step forward and will hopefully serve as a springboard for other states struggling to achieve equality, namely New Jersey.
“I would hope that this decision will make Gov. Christie and Republican members of our legislature take a circumspect look at the many ways in which their denial of support has allowed discrimination to continue to flourish in our state and recognize that it’s not too late to change this."
State Senator Richard J. Codey, D-Essex/Morris
“The Supreme Court ruling affirms what Americans know is true: that marriage equality is a basic right that should be available to everyone. The country is moving in the right direction on gay rights and it is past time that New Jersey offers all of its citizens equal rights, equal protection under the law and equal opportunities in marriage. The day is coming when same-sex marriage will be legal in New Jersey, we should continue to fight to realize that day as soon as possible.”
“Today's court rulings on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California's Proposition 8 are a major step forward in America's inexorable march toward marriage equality.
“With its ruling that DOMA is unconstitutional, the court has reaffirmed our country's commitment to equal rights. Together, these rulings represent a victory for all Americans who believe in marriage equality.
“With the defeat of the DOMA, same sex marriages are now entitled equal treatment under federal law and it becomes even more important that New Jersey join the growing list of states that provide its citizens with full marriage equality.”
Troy Stevenson, executive director of Garden State Equality, issued the following statement:
"This is a truly monumental day for our community and in our movement for equal rights. Today, the Supreme Court has decided that the federal government can no longer discriminate in its treatment of married couples, gay or straight.
"Same-sex couples in 12 [] states and the District of Columbia will have all the rights and benefits afforded their opposite-sex brothers and sisters. We congratulate Edie Windsor, her attorneys, the ACLU, and the many organizations and activists who fought for this victory.
"However, the day is also bittersweet for New Jersey and in dozens of states around the country where discrimination continues and same sex couples remain relegated to second-class citizenship.
"New Jersey’s LGBT families will continue to be denied 1,138 rights and benefits granted to married couples by the federal government, even as those rights are conferred to LGBT families in our neighboring states. That is because New Jersey's civil union couples are not afforded full marriage equality. The inequality has never been more clear, the debate is over, and the only solution is to grant the freedom to marry now!
"There is no longer any excuse to delay: the state must rectify the discrimination taking place within our borders immediately. It is immoral as it is impractical to force any New Jersey family to be stripped of critical economic and legal protections every time they cross the Hudson or Delaware Rivers to return home from our closest neighboring states.
"More than 60 percent of New Jerseyans across all racial, socioeconomic, and generational divisions agree that the time to enact marriage equality is now, and the government must not abdicate any further responsibility in granting equal rights immediately.
"With today’s decisions by the Court, it’s become more clear than ever that not only are LGBT people treated as second-class citizens in New Jersey, but that New Jersey itself risks becoming a second-class state to its neighbors, where all people will be treated equally at all levels of government.
"Further, we congratulate the people of California on their victory today in restoring equality to our nation’s largest state. With the discriminatory and legally unjustifiable Proposition 8 thrown out by the courts, 30% of our nation’s population will now live in states with marriage equality. New Jersey’s nine million residents look forward to joining them soon."