By Josh Richman
Wednesday, June 26th, 2013 at 11:44 am in Assembly, Barbara Boxer, Barbara Lee, Bob Wieckowski, California State Senate, Dianne Feinstein, Ellen Corbett, Eric Swalwell, George Miller, Jackie Speier, Jared Huffman, John Garamendi, Leland Yee, Mark DeSaulnier, Mark Leno, Mike Honda, Mike Thompson, Nancy Pelosi, Nancy Skinner, Nora Campos, Paul Fong, Rich Gordon, Rob Bonta, Tom Ammiano, U.S. House, U.S. Senate, Zoe Lofgren.
EVERYBODY has something to say about today’s U.S. Supreme Court rulings on same-sex marriage. Here’s the latest from your Bay Area elected officials.
From U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.:
“As author of the bill to repeal the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act, I am thrilled by today’s Supreme Court decision.
“Today’s ruling clearly establishes that the 14 senators who opposed DOMA in 1996 were correct. It also states that one class of legally married individuals cannot be denied rights under federal law accorded to all other married couples. Doing so denies ‘equal protection’ under the Constitution. This is an important and significant decision.
“Because of inequities in the administration of more than 1,100 federal laws affected by DOMA, it is still necessary to introduce legislation to repeal DOMA and strike this law once and for all. I will introduce that legislation today with 39 cosponsors in the Senate.
“As a Californian, I am thrilled by the Supreme Court’s decision on Proposition 8. The court’s ruling on technical grounds leaves in place former Chief Judge Vaughn Walker’s decision that Prop 8 is unconstitutional and cannot be enforced.
“I believe this decision means marriage equality will finally be restored in California.”
From U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.:
“Today my spirits are soaring because the Supreme Court reaffirmed the promise of America by rejecting two blatantly unconstitutional measures that discriminated against millions of our families.
“I was proud to have voted against the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, and it is so heartening to see that the federal government will now treat all marriages equally.
“Because of the Court’s ruling on Proposition 8, millions of Californians will be able to marry the person they love – with all the rights and responsibilities that go along with it.”
From House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco:
“Today, the Supreme Court bent the arc of history once again toward justice. The court placed itself on the right side of history by discarding Section 3 of the defenseless Defense of Marriage Act and by allowing marriage equality for all families in California. The highest court in the land reaffirmed the promise inscribed into its walls: ‘equal justice under law.’
“Soon, the federal government will no longer discriminate against any family legally married in the United States. California will join 12 other states and the District of Columbia in recognizing the fundamental rights of all families. Our country will move one step closer to securing equal protection for all of our citizens.
“Nearly 44 years to the day after the Stonewall Riots turned the nation’s attention to discrimination against LGBT Americans, the fight for equal rights took a giant step forward. Yet even with today’s victory at the Supreme Court, the struggle for marriage equality is not over. Whether in the courts or in state legislatures, we will not rest until men and women in every state are granted equal rights. We will keep working to ensure that justice is done for every American, no matter who they love.”
Tons more, after the jump…
From Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland:
“This is an amazing day for marriage equality and for love. The Supreme Court’s decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act is long overdue, and I could not be more excited. With this decision, the Court brought our nation one step closer to realizing our Constitution’s promise of equality for all Americans.
“As a Californian, I’m proud to welcome marriage equality back to our great state! This ruling on Proposition 8 gives certainty to Californians all across the state who can now get married and know that they are protected and recognized. This is a great step forward for equal justice under the law.”
“As a founding member and vice chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, I know that these decisions create a fairer and better nation. I know that we are stronger when all families are respected and supported. By these decisions, the Court has ensured that gay and lesbian married couples are fully and wholly recognized by their federal government, that they and their children are fully respected and embraced.
“However, there are still places in this country where discrimination stands, where hatred breeds fear, and we must make certain that everyone across America has these protections, and I will continue the fight for marriage equality.”
From Rep. Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo:
“This is a momentous step forward for civil rights. While the Court fell short of extending marriage equality to all Americans, its decision today ends the division of Californians into two legal classes. It ends the government’s role in deciding whose marriages, whose love, and whose families deserve full status in our state. It brings our country closer to the day when no Americans are devalued or discriminated against simply because of who they are.
“I had the privilege to marry 50 couples during the brief window in 2008 when gay marriage was legal and I am looking forward to doing that again once California officials clear the way for marriages to resume.
“LGBT Californians have endured years of public debate over their civil rights and their personal relationships. That debate is now over and all Californians are equal under the law.”
From Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-San Jose:
“I welcome the Supreme Court’s decision striking down DOMA as unconstitutional. Although today’s ruling only applies to couples legally married under state law, it will be marked as a turning point forward in the civil rights movement towards marriage equality for all. Not only was DOMA out of step with popular opinion, it institutionalized discrimination against lesbians and gays based purely on who they love. It’s a shame the House GOP irresponsibly wasted millions of taxpayer dollars over the past few years to defend the bigotry engrained in DOMA.”
From Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez:
“Today’s Supreme Court rulings mark an enormous step forward in the battle for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans to be treated as full-fledged citizens. Of course there is much more work to do to ensure full marriage equality across the country, but today signals a major advancement in this critically important struggle.
“And there is more work to do to protect the rights of all Americans, beyond the issue of marriage. Congress should now take the next step to ensure LGBT Americans are treated equally under the law by protecting their rights in the workplace and in the classroom. That’s why I’m calling on Congress to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and the Student Non-Discrimination Act so that we can move forward together to rebuild our economy without fear of discrimination and persecution of individuals just because of who they are or who they love.”
From Rep. Mike Honda, D-San Jose:
“The Supreme Court ruled the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional today in a great victory for justice and equality. No longer will legally married same-sex couples in this country be treated differently from anyone else. As vice-chair of the Congressional LGBT Caucus and as someone who lived under institutionalized discrimination myself, this is a proud and important day for the tens of thousands of married LGBT couples in this country and their families. And while the ruling in the Prop 8 case did not expand marriage equality nationwide – legalizing same-sex marriage just in California – I will continue to fight for our LGBT friends living in states that have banned same-sex marriage to experience this victory for themselves soon.”
From Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Pleasanton:
“Today’s decisions march us closer toward equality for all. With DOMA, the Supreme Court struck from the books a discriminatory law that drew a distinction between the love of same-sex couples and heterosexual couples. And today, the distinction has greatly narrowed, but we still have work to do.
“With respect to Prop 8: ring the chapel bells, same-sex marriage in California is back. This decision is sweet redemption for what we have always known in California: love is love.
“This is a victory for California and a victory for America. I am proud to stand with my gay and lesbians friends and family in celebration of these monumental decisions that end a discriminatory policy that denies federal benefits to committed and loving gay and lesbian couples. There are some 40,000 children in California that live with same-sex parents and these families deserve the same protections that my family enjoys.
“At the same time, we have work to do to continue the movement for equality. There are still 37 states that do not allow same-sex marriage, and I look forward to continuing my work in Congress so every American is treated equally under the law.”
From Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Napa:
“Today, the Supreme Court took a stand for equal justice under the law, ruling that laws that deny equality are immoral, unjust and unfair. This is a giant step forward, but we must continue working until every American has the right to marry whoever they love no matter where you live.”
From Rep. Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael:
“America is a symbol of freedom and equality, and today’s decisions brought us one step closer to realizing that promise for all Americans. DOMA was discrimination enshrined in law, and in striking it down, the Supreme Court has reaffirmed that equality is the bedrock principle behind our constitution. It does not guarantee equality for some Americans, but rather all Americans, and we must continue to work toward that goal.”
From Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto:
“Generations of Americans have fought for the preeminent promise of our country—that every person is afforded the same fundamental rights as stated in our Constitution, with the promise of liberty and justice for all.
“Today, the decisions of the Supreme Court make real the words and the promise of our Constitution by striking down unfair barriers for same-sex couples and returning marriage equality to California. Now, the fullness of our Constitution reaches into the lives of millions of Americans, making our nation a more perfect union.”
From Rep. John Garamendi, D-Fairfield:
“American history can be read as a gradual expansion of true equality under the law. Today, the arc of history bent further toward justice.
“I have long believed that all loving couples deserve the freedom to marry. Hundreds of thousands of LGBT Americans are building a life together, raising children, and are part of the fabric of communities throughout our nation. They deserve all the same rights that my wife Patti and I have, and I’m glad we’re one step closer to a country that treats everyone with dignity and respect.
“Marriage equality is now legal in California and federal marriage benefits have been expanded to married same sex couples throughout the country. Love wins every time and the march toward a fairer, more just America continues.
“We are a country that celebrates the ideal of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for everyone. Today, we came even closer to making that ideal a reality.
“This past weekend, I went to Philadelphia with my family and we visited the location of the Continental Congress, where the Constitution was written as a living, breathing document that could not foresee the issues of the future but provided a mechanism to resolve these issues. Our continued progress toward the fundamental values enshrined in this document is what makes our country great.”
From state Sen. Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro:
“Today’s dual rulings on Proposition 8 and DOMA finally ensure the fundamental rights of all Californians to achieve equality under the law and not be discriminated against based on who they love. I am pleased that the Supreme Court chose to stand on the right side of history, as it has previously done related to racial and gender equality. I have always believed that the basic premise of Proposition 8 was deeply flawed and am pleased that, after today’s historic ruling, wedding bells will soon be ringing for all Californians regardless of sexual orientation. I thank the Supreme Court for taking an important step toward true equality and ensuring that all Californians have the freedom to marry the person they love. Let us continue fighting until all Americans can enjoy true marriage equality in the months and years to come.”
From state Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco:
“Today’s decisions are defining moments for our country, landmark affirmations of basic civil rights by our nation’s highest court and long sought victories for thousands of couples who wish to honor their commitment to one another through the institution of marriage.
“By striking down DOMA and ending the exclusion of California’s same-sex couples and their families from marriage, the Court’s decisions further fulfill the great promise of our Constitution and Declaration of Independence that all men and women are created equal and as such must be treated equally under the law.
“This day could not have arrived without the courageous efforts of civil rights pioneers who bravely fought for legal recognition of our rights and humanity. Today we pay tribute to them, knowing they have helped pave the way for millions of LGBT people to live happier and more fulfilled lives, which will only benefit their families and the rest of society.
“Today is also an affirmation of the power of coming out, telling our stories and putting love and authenticity foremost in our lives. With legal doctrine, legislative victories and public opinion increasingly on our side, LGBT Americans can finally envision a day where future generations will look back and wonder how this outcome could have ever been in doubt and why it took so long to happen.
“While today’s victories are monumental, we still have much more work to do in order to achieve full equality across the United States and globe. Our struggle will continue until every man and woman can proudly marry the person he or she loves and have that right fully respected under the law.”
From state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco:
“It’s a wonderful day for Californians who believe in equal rights for all. In 2008, Proposition 8 stripped the right to marry from LGBT citizens, while DOMA imposed an unprecedented standard that allowed states to ignore marriage contracts formed elsewhere in our nation. Today the Supreme Court has reaffirmed the fundamental ideas our nation was founded upon and taken a step towards equality and fairness. Now that the laws that held same sex couples apart have been found unconstitutional, we can finally live up to our creed that all people are created equal. I look forward to again officiating at weddings for all couples who wish to marry, this time knowing that their right is here to stay.”
From state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord:
“A big part of California’s strength is its rich diversity and tolerance. Today’s Supreme Court ruling is great news for all Californians. I am reminded of Martin Luther King’s excellent quote: ‘The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.’”
From Assemblyman Rich Gordon, D-Menlo Park:
“Marriage equality has been a priority and a dream of the LGBT community for decades. Today, with the Supreme Court’s announcements, we are realizing that dream and we now celebrate equal marriage rights for all Californians.
“In 2008, I had the privilege of marrying my partner of 26 years. This was one of the greatest days of my life, as we were finally able to stand together and say, in front of our friends, family and loved ones, ‘We are a family.’ This is an experience that many loving couples have been unjustly denied until now. We are not just a gay couple; we are two individuals who are deeply in love.
“Furthermore, with the high court striking down DOMA, this is truly a historic day for all Californians and all Americans who value fairness and equality. The institution of marriage not only provides over 1,000 legal and financial privileges, it is a powerful symbol of a couple’s love and commitment. It is something to be cherished and shared.
“The passage of Proposition 8 was a dark day for individual freedoms and rights. The ban on marriage equality came as shock to most; but we have learned from our missteps, recovered and continue to march on.
“While this is a day for celebration, we must also remember that our work is not yet done. Only thirteen states and the District of Columbia have achieved the dream of marriage equality. However, public opinion is rapidly changing. In May alone, Rhode Island, Delaware, and Minnesota achieved marriage equality, and for the first time ever a majority of Americans now favor equal marriage rights. With momentum on our side, we will not rest until every American can exercise their right to marry who they love.”
From Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley:
“This week, 44 years ago, the gay rights movement ascended from the Stonewall riots in New York, catalyzing today’s historic ruling in favor of marriage equality. Today, justice for all has been served. Marriage equality in California will move forward and we can see a path to marriage equality throughout the U.S.
“As a proud PFLAG mom, I look forward to my role as a state legislator, along with my legislative colleagues, to ensure California’s laws comply with the court’s ruling.”
(Referring to her constituent Kriss Perry, plaintiff in one of the cases decided Wednesday, and her fianceé Sandy Stier) “California has two courageous women to thank, for fighting the good fight. Their efforts affirmed a basic human right that will enable my daughter and all Californians, regardless of sexual orientation, to be treated equally under the law.”
From Assemblyman Paul Fong, D-Cupertino:
“The U.S. Supreme Court took an important step by striking down the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act. It correctly rights a wrong in our country’s history and provides for equal treatment for same sex couples under federal law. The Court’s ruling guarantees equal protection to all members of our society, regardless of sexual orientation. Though the decision was not a universal decision on the constitutionality of same sex marriage, I am heartened that same sex marriage can continue in the state of California. This is a historic victory but our nation’s movement for equality and justice for everyone in this country are far from over. As we move forward, we must remain committed to fight discrimination and to protect the rights of all Americans.”
From Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski, D-Fremont:
“With today’s decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court our state and nation have taken a giant step forward in the historic march for equality. No longer will California couples be denied the right to marry – and the legal and financial benefits that go along with marriage – solely because of their sexual orientation.
“The momentum is strong, but the struggle for marriage equality will continue in those states that still discriminate. I am confident that someday all Americans will enjoy the rights that Californians now have as a result of this historic day.”
From Assemblyman Kevin Mullin, D-San Mateo:
“This is a great day in America. Today’s rulings are a major step forward in ensuring equality for all. This should send a strong message to those supporting intolerant policies that, in a civilized society, we need to treat everyone with dignity and respect regardless of who they love.
“This will clear the way for same sex couples to receive the same legal protections, health benefits, tax benefits, and pension benefits as more traditional couples. My bill AB 373 fixes this for CalPERS long-term care policies. There will likely need to be more expansive pieces of legislation conforming other benefits to account for this historic ruling.”
From Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco:
“Thank you, Supremes, for stopping the Proposition 8 and DOMA madness in the name of love. Now any Californian will be able to marry the person he or she loves and the federal government will recognize that marriage. This is not total victory, of course. There are LGBT people in most states who don’t have marriage equality yet. The fundamental questions are of justice and equality and the Supreme Court’s recent rulings on voting rights and affirmative action make it clear that these struggles don’t end all at once. We still have to watch out to protect the rights of lesbians, gays and transgender people – and all people who suffer discrimination or inequality for any reason. Let’s keep building on the Bill of Rights, and make sure no one loses out because of where they come from, because of how poor they are or because of who they love.”
From Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Oakland:
“Today’s decisions mark the turning point in the legal battle for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights and equality. As an attorney experienced in and committed to civil rights issues, I am encouraged that the Supreme Court had the moral and constitutional insight to recognize the failings of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act and rule it unconstitutional. The decision is particularly meaningful today as we are just just two days shy of the 44th anniversary of the start of the Stonewall Riots in New York City which ushered in the gay civil rights movement.
“The ruling on Proposition 8 allows two loving adults in California to enter into marriage, regardless of their gender. While it was my hope that the Supreme Court would have more broadly ruled in favor of justice and equality by holding Proposition 8 unconstitutional, their more narrow ruling on the standing of the parties invalidates Proposition 8 and legalizes gay marriage in California.
“I am proud that the San Francisco City Attorney’s office took a leading role in the legal battle for marriage equality since 2004 while I was working as a Deputy City Attorney. The San Francisco City Attorney’s Office was the first governmental entity in American history ever to legally challenge marriage laws and the only law office to be involved as a party in every aspect of the legal battle since 2004. As a Deputy City Attorney for the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office, I was proud to be at the forefront of the historic legal battle for marriage equality in California. Now, as an Assemblymember for the 18th Assembly District, I am looking forward to continuing the fight to allow every loving couple to be married not just in California, but across the nation.
“Sixty four years after Perez v. Sharp invalidated interracial marriage bans in California, and forty six years after Loving v. Virginia extended those protections across the nation, I am hopeful and confident that the march of progress will continue and one day soon marriage equality will be the law of the land.”
From Assemblywoman Nora Campos, D-San Jose:
“What a historic day for justice and equal rights in America today.
“The U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed the values of commitment and enduring love by striking down the Defense of Marriage Act and upholding a lower court’s ruling that Proposition 8 was unconstitutional, paving the way for same-sex couples to be able to marry in California.
“Everyone who has married remembers the joy of that day. Soon all Californians will have the ability to experience that beautiful moment.
“Obviously, much work needs to be done. Let’s hope that states will end the business of erecting walls against LGBT couples who want to marry. I hope that one day the right to marry will extend to all couples in the United States.”