Politicians react to Supreme Court decisions

10:42 AM, Jun 26, 2013   |    comments
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ST. LOUIS (KSDK/AP) - Politicians are reacting to the Supreme Court's historic decisions.

In one 5-to-4 ruling, the court struck down a provision of a federal law that denied federal benefits to gay married couples. The provision of the Defense of Marriage Act kept legally-married same-sex couples from receiving tax, health and pension benefits that go to married couples of the opposite sex.

In the other, also a 5-to-4 ruling, the justices said nothing at all about same-sex marriage itself. But they left in place a finding by a trial court that California's Proposition 8 -- banning same-sex marriage -- is unconstitutional.

That's an outcome that will probably allow California officials to order the resumption of same-sex weddings in the state in about a month.

Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement today, after the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act.

"Today's decision is a tremendous victory for marriage equality," Durbin said. "I believe that everyone who seeks a loving relationship in the eyes of the law should be given that opportunity. Marriage equality has become one of the defining civil rights issues of our time and the Court's ruling today reaffirmed a founding principle of our nation: equal justice under the law."

Illinois Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon's reaction to the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8 being struck down:

"I am thrilled by the Supreme Court's ruling in Windsor today to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act. This decision supports one of the fundamental principles of our country-equality-and brings us one step closer to the nation we aspire to be.

"I appreciate the Court's decision in Perry, and am excited for all California couples whose marriages are once again recognized. The decision strengthens my resolve to work harder in Illinois and throughout the country to ensure full marriage equality.

"I look forward to renewing that commitment to equal rights with Illinois families and advocates this Sunday at the Pride Parade in Chicago as we continue working toward marriage equality in Illinois."


Illinois Governor Pat Quinn's recation to the Defense of Marriage Act being struck down:

"Today the Supreme Court took a historic step by providing equal access to more than 1,100 federal rights and benefits for same-sex couples.

"Members of the Illinois House now have more than 1,100 new reasons to make marriage equality the law in Illinois.

"This is a monumental day for freedom in the history of our nation. The opportunity to guarantee equal rights and benefits to all citizens - under both state and federal law - is one we must seize here in the Land of Lincoln without delay.

"Now is the time for all to put differences aside, band together and redouble our efforts to make it happen.

"I will continue working with members of the Illinois House and all of our tireless community advocates to bring marriage equality to Illinois as soon as possible."


Information from the Associated Press contributed to this report.


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