DOMA Decision: What they said

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From the Supreme Court Justices to local leaders, it seems like everyone has an opinion about the death of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

Find out what they all said, after the jump:

The Justices
“For same-sex couples who wished to be married, New York acted to give their lawful conduct a lawful status. This status is a far-reaching legal acknowledgement of the intimate relationship between two people, a relationship deemed by the State worthy of dignity in the community equal with all marriages. It reflects both the community’s considered perspective on the historical roots of marriage and its evolving understanding of the meaning of equality. DOMA seeks to injure the very class of people New York seeks to protect. By doing so, it violates basic due process and equal protection principles applicable to the Federal Government.” – Justice Anthony Kennedy, for the majority

“DOMA undermines both the public and private significance of state-sanctioned same-sex marriages; for it tells those couples, and all the world, that their otherwise valid marriages are unworthy of federal recognition. This places same-sex couples in an unstable position of being in a second-tier marriage. And it humiliates tens of thousands of children now being raised by same-sex couples.” – Justice Anthony Kennedy, for the majority

“The principal purpose and necessary effect of [DOMA] are to demean those persons who are in a lawful same-sex marriage. This requires the Court to hold, as it now does, that DOMA is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the liberty of the person protected by the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution.” – Justice Anthony Kennedy, for the majority

“The [DOMA] analysis leads no further. The Court… does not decide whether the states may continue to utilize the traditional definition of marriage.” – Chief Justice John Roberts, in dissent

“[The majority has concluded that] DOMA is motivated by bare… desire to harm couples in same-sex marriages. How easy it is, indeed how inevitable, to reach the same conclusion with regard to state laws denying same-sex couples marital status.” – Justice Antonin Scalia, in dissent

“The silence of the Constitution on [the question of same-sex marriage] should be enough to end the matter as far as the judiciary is concerned.” – Justice Samual Alito, in dissent

Elected Officials and Activists
“Today’s DOMA ruling is a historic step forward for #MarriageEqualtiy. #LoveisLove.”
President Barack Obama, in a tweet after the decisions were announced

“I look forward to the work that now can and must be done to adjust rules and regulations that affect the many married Americans who were hurt by this law.” – Secretary of State John Kerry

“Today’s historic decision declaring Section 3 of DOMA unconstitutional is an enormous triumph for equal protection under the law for all Americans. The court’s ruling gives real meaning to the Constitution’s promise of equal protection to al lmembers of our society, regardless of sexual orientation.” - Attorney General Eric Holder

“I wanna go to Stonewall… right now!” – Edie Windsor, plaintiff in the DOMA case

“DOMA violated the fundamentally American principals of fairness and equality. Because of today’s Supreme Court ruling, every child born today will be able to grow up in a world without DOMA – a world where the federal government won’t discriminate against their marriages no matter who they are. I know Thea would have been so happy and proud to see how far we have dome in our fight to ensure that all gay and lesbian couples are treated with the dignity and respect that they deserve.” – Edie Windsor, plaintiff in the DOMA case

“This is truly a day for the history books. DOMA was the last law on the books that mandated discrimination against gay people by the federal government simply because they are gay. The days of ‘skim milk’ or second-class marriages for gay people are now over.” – Roberta Kaplan, Windsor’s lawyer

“Today, every American is free to live in the assurance that their loved ones will receive all benefits the United States gives to any other family.” – Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson, MCC moderator and a member of President Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships

“Today’s historic decisions put two giant cracks in the dark wall of discrimination that separates committed gay and lesbian couples from full equality. While we celebrate the victory for Californians today, tomorrow we turn our attention to the millions of LGBT people who don’t feel the reach of those decisions.” – Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin

“Now we must begin to change the hearts and minds of voters, lawmakers and political leaders in the 38 states that still forbid gays and lesbians to marry.” – Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund president Chuck Wolfe

“One thing is clear. Peoples’ views on marriage equality are changing because LGBT family members, friends, and neighbors believe they deserve to be treated like everyone else in the United States.” – Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.)

“A robust national debate over marriage will continue in the public square, and it is my hope that states will define marriage as the union between one man and one woman.” – House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio)

“Marriage was created by the hand of God. The Supreme Court, though they may think so, have not yet arisen to the level of God.” – Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.)

“My thoughts in the SCOTUS ruling that determined that same-sex marriage is okay: Jesus wept.” – Former Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-Ark.)

“[The Supreme Court’s] refusal to redefine marriage for all states is a major setback for those seeking to redefine natural marriage. Time is not on the side of those seeking to create same-sex marriage.” – Family Research Council president Tony Perkns

“Justice Kennedy’s opinion takes us to the brink of nationwide same-sex marriage, and I believe that will be a devastating thing for this country.” – Rev. Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Local Opinion Leaders
“Today’s rulings are a major step forward for the country, but for Floridians they fall short of justice and are more than anything a call to action. They are a reminder that we cannot wait for justice to be handed to us, we are going to have to get engaged and fight. Because today, our rights as Americans are not based on our shared citizenship, but upon our geographic location.” – Nadine Smith, Equality Florida executive director

“Fundamentally, it comes down to economics. If you are making retirement plans or financial decisions and you want those [federal] rights and benefits, why would you stay in Florida?” – State Rep. Joe Saunders (D-Orlando)

“As we celebrate the enormity of this moment, let’s hold on to and remember what it took to reach this mountain top. We are here thanks to the courage and leadership of pioneers who toiled through decades and carried us to this moment.” – Eric Skains, executive director, St. Pete Pride

“For the first time in any way, the federal government has recognized the validity of marriage between same-sex couples. This is a transformative event in the history of equal rights in our country.” – Orlando attorney and activist Mary Meeks

“Couples from Florida should not run and get married and think that they will see any benefits from those marriages in the State of Florida.” – Elizabeth F. Schwartz, Gay & Lesbian Lawyers Association of Miami

“Florida’s discriminatory constitutional ban on fairness in marriage remains in place. The fight for equality under the law for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people is not over yet. But today marks perhaps the most important legal victory to date in that fight. This historic win means the wind is at the backs of those fighting for freedom and fairness.” – Staff attorney Daniel Tilley, ACLU of Florida

“Once California is able to join 12 other states and the District of Columbia in allowing same-sex marriage, marriage equality will apply to over one-third of the U.S. population. The Supreme Court’s decisions laid the groundwork for future challenges of same-sex marriage bans in the remainder of the states, including Florida.” – The Center director Randy Stephens, Orlando

“What Rev. Martin Luther King said still rings true: ‘Until we are all free, none of us are free.’ Today we are one step closer to being completely free.” – Rev. Terri Steed, Senior Pastor, Joy MCC Orlando

“Today the Supreme Court reaffirmed the principal that our founders fought for, our soldiers have died for, and our children are taught to strive for: that all men are created equal and are equal before the law. But we still have issues to resolve. The validity of a couple’s marriage should not be determined by where their airplane lands or their U-Haul parks.” – Larry D. Smith, Orlando attorney and winner of the American Bar Association’s 2013 Diversity Leadership Award

“The State of Florida remains a ‘traditional marriage state.'” – Florida Gov. Rick Scott

“[The Supreme Court] made a serious mistake today when it overstepped its important but limited role.” – Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.)

“This is undermining the court’s legitimacy in the eyes of the people. While [the Court] didn’t recognize same-sex marriage nationwide, they laid the groundwork to push forward with same-sex marriage.” – Liberty Counsel president Mathew Staver

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