Gay people and their supporters rejoiced and celebrated all over Connecticut Wednesday following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
Here’s what some members of state’s Congressional delegation, the state legislature and others had to say:
“The Supreme Court today reaffirmed the core principles of our country – that all people are created equal and have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
“Although the State of Connecticut has recognized marriage equality for same-sex couples since 2008, a discriminatory federal law known as DOMA prevented these legally married couples from being recognized by the U.S. government, thus being denied a host of rights that are afforded to all other married couples.
“Having two different sets of laws for people based solely on their gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity is wrong, and that’s exactly what the Supreme Court recognized today. Simply put, today’s ruling comes down to equality, and when equality wins, we all win.
“With this ruling, I implore every state to give full faith and credit to valid same-sex marriages. Every Connecticut resident deserves to have their marriage recognized as they travel among the states for work, vacation and family visits. A marriage should not be a right that you gain and lose on a road trip across the country.
“My wife Cathy and I proudly join with all of our friends, both gay and straight, to celebrate today’s ruling and it’s recognition of justice for all.”
— Gov. Dannel P. Malloy
“Today’s Supreme Court ruling is a huge and historic victory for freedom and equality, most especially for marriage equality. Standing on the steps of the Supreme Court today as the decision came down, I was proud and overjoyed to be an American and to represent a state that helped lead the way. Connecticut law guaranteeing marriage equality will now be accorded full respect under federal law – and so will married couples regardless of who they are or whom they love. I thank all in Connecticut and the country who have stayed true to this cause, and I pledge to continue the fight so all Americans in all states have marriage equality.”
— U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal
“It has often been said that the arc of moral history bends only toward justice, and today, the Supreme Court proved this axiom to be true.
The right to marry the person you love should not be denied to anyone based on their sexual orientation, because in the end, all that should matter is the love you have for the person standing on altar beside you. I have been part of this movement from the very beginning of my public service, signing up as one of the original ten cosponsors of Connecticut’s civil union legislation. Today, I get shivers looking at how far this nation has come in under two decades.
The majority of Americans now support marriage equality, and most members of the Senate, on both sides of the aisle, have pledged their support as well. I’m thrilled that the Supreme Court today ruled in favor of common sense and equality, allowing same-sex couples to take advantage of federal benefits that should have been theirs all along. Plain and simple, this is a day that makes me proud to be in public service.”
— U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy
“The Supreme Court made the right decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act and advanced the cause of marriage equality by reestablishing the right of same-sex marriage in California. For too long DOMA denied married couples living in Connecticut and nationwide the federal benefits they have earned for themselves and their families. I commend the work of those in the First District and around the country who continue to fight for the rights of all Americans and know that every day we strengthen equality for all, we become stronger as a nation.”
“Today is a victory for equality. Barring LGBT Americans from marriage violates the values we hold dear — justice, freedom and equality. It makes no difference who someone loves and denying them the same rights as heterosexual couples is just plain wrong. Today’s decisions will make us a fairer and better nation.”
— U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-3rd District
“I am extremely pleased that the Supreme Court sided with equality and fairness by overturning the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act and dismissing the Prop 8 case. Today, the Supreme Court righted a grievous historical wrong, reaffirming what we already knew to be true: that loving, committed couples should all receive the same rights and benefits from the federal government regardless of orientation. Thousands of Connecticut couples legally married in our state have been waiting for recognition by their government, and I am pleased that their marriages will soon be considered just as valid as my own.”
— U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, D-4th District
“This is a momentous and historic day for all Americans. Today, the Supreme Court has made decisions that strengthen families and that live up to our shared values of equality and freedom”
“DOMA denied gay and lesbian couples full equality under the law, and I applaud the Court for correcting this constitutional and moral injustice.
“This is personal for many American families, including my own. My brother had the courage to come out in 1979, when equality was still a distant dream. A few years ago, I was thrilled that my brother and his long-time partner were able to publicly commit themselves in marriage – something they had been denied the right to do for many years. Although there is still much work to do in the cause of equality and strengthening all families, I join families across the country in celebrating today’s ruling and looking forward towards a more inclusive, more equal future.”
— U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-5th District
I’m proud of Connecticut for being a national leader in marriage equality, and thrilled with today’s decision. Today is an historic day that we should celebrate.
— Connecticut Speaker of the House Brendan Sharkey
“I applaud the Supreme Court for correctly concluding that the Defense of Marriage Act represents an unconstitutional deprivation of equal liberty. Discrimination based on sexual orientation has no place in our society or under our laws.
“Today’s ruling is a victory for legally married same-sex couples in Connecticut and in states across our country who, until now, have been unfairly denied recognition and protection under federal law. Moreover, today’s ruling is a victory for all citizens who value equal rights in our country.”
— Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen
“To violate the rights of a few is to violate the rights of all, and the Court’s ruling simply ensures that the liberties promised in our Constitution are shared by everyone.
“This is also a family issue. There are many thousands of children in Connecticut and the nation right now being raised by same-sex couples, and denying their parents equality would deny them equality, as well.
“What is most important is that children are part of a loving, stable family, whether that is traditional, extended, single-parent, foster, adoptive or same-sex.”
— Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman
“Today’s historic ruling is a victory for equality, civil rights and for all the loving, committed same-sex couples across this country. I am proud to live in a state that has led the way on marriage equality.”
–State Senate President Donald E. Williams, Jr.
“Today’s rulings by the US Supreme Court are a victory for human rights and equality throughout the land. It is long past the time in this country for us to recognize – as we have in Connecticut since 2008 – that the love that same-sex couples feel for each other and the families created by in same-sex households are every bit as real and legitimate as heterosexual marriages. These rulings reaffirm that our constitution sets one standard – all Americans are equal under the law. Therefore discrimination based on sexual orientation cannot be a legal basis to deny legal benefits or reserve certain legal rights to individuals or groups of Americans. Though today’s rulings don’t go so far as to say that same sex couples have a constitutional right to be married, that day is clearly coming. Meanwhile, I applaud the high court’s expansion of human rights in our country today.”
— Secretary of the State Denise Merrill
“The Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut is happy to hear how the Supreme Court ruled today in regards to the marriage equality issues it had before it. This legal recognition allows families a means to control their health care costs by allowing them access to employer sponsored coverage, taking into consideration their income as families in determining benefits and allowing full access and input into medical decisions.”
— Frances G. Padilla, president, The Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticuton