Stephanie Young, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today after the Supreme Court ruled on the Defense of Marriage Act and California's Proposition 8:
“’We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’ America was founded with these words, which speak the hopes of a nation that today took an important step closer toward fulfilling its Founders’ promise.
“The Supreme Court’s historic decision to strike down Section 3 of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act opens doors of opportunity for thousands of married couples in Maryland, in twelve other states, and the District of Columbia. Recognizing that same-sex partners, married under the laws of their states, are entitled to the Constitution’s equal protection, the Court today listened to the voices of millions of gay and lesbian Americans and their loved ones and drew on the principles of justice as imparted by our Founders. Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion makes it clear: ‘DOMA’s avowed purpose and practical effect are to impose a disadvantage, a separate status, and so a stigma upon all who enter into same-sex marriages…’ Today, that stigma has thankfully been erased. I was proud to have joined an amicus brief with other House and Senate Democrats in March making the case that Section 3 of DOMA violated our Constitution and stood opposed to our most basic values as Americans.
“For the people of California, the Court’s decision in Hollingsworth v. Perry, which rules that those challenging the invalidation of Proposition 8 have no standing, allows same-sex couples to marry in that state once again. This is a day that will be remembered in the history of our country’s ongoing march toward justice and equality for all. Only when no one among us is prevented from living with equal dignity, denied the freedom to create a family based in love and partnership, or deprived of the joy that comes from not having to face discrimination on a daily basis will the powerful words of our Declaration of Independence truly ring across our land. I join in celebrating today’s milestones and will continue working to ensure that our democracy works for all Americans and all families.”