Wednesday: Reaction To Supreme Court Rulings On Gay Marriage

Tools

We're posting the statements we get from various elected officials in New York state, in the wake of the Supreme Court's decisions Wednesday on gay marriage.

A divided court issued two key rulings on the issue, both of which favor supporters of gay marriage:

- The court invalidated a provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act Wednesday that has prevented married gay couples from receiving a range of tax, health and retirement benefits that are generally available to married people. The vote was 5-4.

- The court cleared the way for same-sex marriage in California by holding that defenders of California's gay marriage ban did not have the right to appeal lower court rulings striking down the ban.
   
The court's 5-4 vote Wednesday leaves in place the initial trial court declaration that the ban is unconstitutional. California officials probably will rely on that ruling to allow the resumption of same-sex unions in about a month's time.

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli

"The Supreme Court’s decision to strike down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act corrects a grievous wrong that unjustly enshrined discrimination in our nation’s laws. In New York State, we celebrate that everyone has the right to marry whomever we so choose.

"For those who have sacrificed and suffered to ensure that this day came to pass, I commend your perseverance. Each one of us deserves equal respect and equal protection under the law."

 U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand 

“Today is a historic day for our country on its long march towards upholding the fundamental values this country was founded upon of fairness, equality and justice. I am overjoyed the Supreme Court has ruled to end the discrimination that had been enshrined into U.S. law.

“Marriage is the true foundation for strong families. Every loving, committed couple deserves the basic human right to get married, start a family, and be treated equally under the law. No politician from this day forward should try to stand in the way of this fact.

“Now that the Supreme Court has ruled DOMA is unconstitutional, Congress must do its job and get this corrosive law off the books so there is certainty for all loving committed couples across state lines. I promise to work hard to pass the Respect for Marriage Act and finally put the discriminatory DOMA policy into the dustbin of history where it belongs.”

New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman

“The Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act is a historic victory for the quintessentially American principle of equal justice under the law.

“Gay and lesbian Americans and their families have not only gained legal rights; but shed the unjust stigma that comes with being victims of legally sanctioned discrimination. Our nation has moved one step closer to fulfilling our founding ideals, and I am proud that New York was on the right side of history in this case.”

The case was brought by New York resident Edie Windsor, who was married in Canada in 2007 to her partner, Thea Spyer, who died two years later. Following Spyer’s death, the federal government, under DOMA, ignored the couple's marriage, and denied Windsor the estate tax exemption available to surviving spouses.

Windsor filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of DOMA and seeking a refund of the estate taxes she was forced to pay as a result of the federal government’s refusal to recognize her marriage.

Governor Andrew Cuomo

"Today’s decisions by the Court are groundbreaking civil rights victories for the LGBT community and a major step forward in our efforts to achieve full marriage equality in this nation.

"Two years ago, New York became the largest state to enact marriage equality, and since then we have seen a growing recognition across the country that all citizens deserve equal rights under the law, regardless of sexual orientation.

"From the Stonewall Riots 44 years ago this week, to the passage of marriage equality in New York, to today’s decision to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act that originated from a case brought by a New York resident, this state has been at the forefront of this movement.

"It is my hope that today’s breakthrough decisions will propel our nation forward and finally allow all Americans to be granted the same rights and protections under the law."

 

Thursday, April 24, 2014
, Watertown, NY

On Demand

This content requires the latest Adobe Flash Player and a browser with JavaScript enabled. Click here for a free download of the latest Adobe Flash Player.

On Wall Street

What's On TonightFull Schedule