Wednesday: Reaction To Supreme Court Rulings On Gay Marriage
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.
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.
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
“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.
Monday, April 21, 2014, Watertown, NY
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