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June 26, 2013 at 9:03 AM

Local reaction to Supreme Court ruling on Defense of Marriage Act

Here is a collection of responses to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that strikes down key provisions of the Defense of Marriage Act.

Washington State Sen. Ed Murray, prime sponsor of Washington’s same-sex marriage law:

“Today’s historic decisions by the United States Supreme Court overturning DOMA and dismissing the challenge to marriage equality in California are the culmination of the great civil rights struggle of our current generation. It would not have happened without the brave, tireless work of countless thousands of determined Americans, both gay and straight. And the people of Washington State helped to lead the way, upholding our marriage equality law at the ballot last November.”

Kathleen Taylor, executive director of ACLU of Washington:

“Today is a great day for everyone who treasures our country’s basic values of freedom and fairness. The U.S. Supreme Court has recognized, as have so many Americans, that all loving, committed couples must be treated equally under law.  Now, in the eyes of the federal government, there are no longer any second-class marriages. There is still more work to be done to make full equality a reality nationwide.  The ACLU has announced it is committing a fund of $10 million to end barriers to marriage equality in all states, coast to coast.”

Gov. Jay Inslee:

“I could not be more proud and excited to see the U.S. Supreme Court take a long overdue stand for equality, fairness and family. Marriage is for two people in love and it is past time for our country to not just recognize that, but honor it. Washington state is a leader in marriage equality and today’s ruling means the benefits and recognition of marriage offered to couples here in our state will be offered equally across our nation.”

Pastor Valerie Hartwell of Rivers of Glory Christian Church in Lacey:

“The good thing is the justices did not rule in favor of establishing homosexual marriage throughout the country. I think what we’ll see now are homosexual activists who will continue to pound and pound and push  and throw it in our face while they try to move all the other states in the same direction as the 12 (where gay marriage is now legal.) As much as they say they want equality of marriage, what they really want is social acceptance of this lifestyle. And I don’t believe they will get it.”

Randy Leskovar, pastor of Calvary Chapel of West Seattle:

“Since the definition of marriage has been changed by certain states, I don’t think the court had much choice. That bridge has been crossed. As a nation, we have left our moorings, are adrift and heading toward the rocks. Really what needs to happen is we need a federal amendment that defines marriage in all the states. ”

Josh Friedes, a spokesman for Equal Rights Washington:

“This is indeed a watershed moment in the LGBT movement, and our success is largely due to people kicking down the closet door and sharing their stories. Hopefully this will be a recipe for future success, not only for marriage equality but other civil rights issues.”

Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson:

“Today is a great day for marriage equality both in Washington state and across the country. This
ruling is vitally important to the people of Washington.”

David Ward, an attorney with Legal Voice, which advocates for the rights of women and gays:

“This will have a tremendous impact on gay and lesbian couples in states like Washington. It means married same-sex couples will have more than 1,100 rights, benefits and obligations that the federal law now provides only to straight couples.” Gay couples now will have full marriages, and not skim-milk marriages, he added, borrowing a line from Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg during earlier arguments in the case.

Julie Shapiro, law professor at Seattle University:

“This is a big win, but it’s not over. For people who live in Washington and get married in Washington, their relationship with the federal government is now clear. That’s the easy part,” said Shapiro. “What’s way harder to think about are those who come to Washington, get married and then go home to states where their marriages are not recognized. There are some federal benefits that are conferred based on where you were married and some based on where you live.”

Alec Rowlands, senior pastor of Westgate Chapel in Edmonds:

“What we understand to be swinging public opinion is not what we base our lives on,” said Rowlands, who has spoken out in the past against same-sex marriage. “Our lives are based on what God’s word says. That’s the ultimate authority for us. If the Supreme Court decides marriage is something other than what we see in scriptures, that’s of little concern to us.”

Washington state delegation’s Democrats:

Democratic members of Congress from Washington hailed the decision, which grants federal benefits to married same-sex couples. At the same time, several lawmakers pointed to unfinished work to ensure equal treatment of gays and lesbians in the military and around the nation.

All eight Democrats in the delegation — two in the Senate and six in the House — support same-sex marriage. The four House Republicans, who oppose it, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Freshman Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Medina, called the decision “a victory for social justice and a major step toward the goal of achieving equality for all in our country.” DelBene called for a full repeal of DOMA, which would allow same-sex couples to get married in all 50 states. A legislation to do that, called the Respect for Marriage Act, has stalled in Congress.

Anne Levinson, former Seattle judge and leading gay-rights proponent:

“This is a landmark ruling and­ a remarkable and historic moment. We’ve taken an enormous step forward in ending the patchwork of discrimination that LGBT couples face. Bi-national couples will no longer have to leave the country to stay together. Married vets will get the same benefits as other vets with whom they’ve fought side by side. And finally, LGBT married couples will enjoy the 1,100 different federal benefits and protections that other families have always received.

Former Gov. Chris Gregoire:

“The Supreme Court has done the right thing and realized that our same-sex, loving families are equal under the law. This is a proud day and to those who have waited so long for it to come, I thank them for never giving up and for not stopping an undeniable truth, that we are all indeed created equal. Here in Washington state we have led the way and today I celebrate with all of our families.”

Joseph Backholm, executive director of the Family Policy Institute of Washington:

“The Supreme Court got it wrong when it said that the state can tell the federal government how it must define marriage. However, those who want to redefine marriage suffered an important defeat today. The Supreme Court refused to declare a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, and rejected their request to impose a redefinition of marriage on all 50 states.  This decision means that this important debate will continue state by state across the country.”

Comments | More in General news, Government | Topics: DOMA, reaction to ruling, Supreme Court


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