Statements on gay marriage ruling

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WTHR has compiled the following statements from lawmakers and lobby groups in reaction to the Supreme Court ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act.

Statement by President Barack Obama on the Supreme Court Ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act

I applaud the Supreme Court's decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act. This was discrimination enshrined in law. It treated loving, committed gay and lesbian couples as a separate and lesser class of people. The Supreme Court has righted that wrong, and our country is better off for it. We are a people who declared that we are all created equal - and the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.

This ruling is a victory for couples who have long fought for equal treatment under the law; for children whose parents' marriages will now be recognized, rightly, as legitimate; for families that, at long last, will get the respect and protection they deserve; and for friends and supporters who have wanted nothing more than to see their loved ones treated fairly and have worked hard to persuade their nation to change for the better.

So we welcome today's decision, and I've directed the Attorney General to work with other members of my Cabinet to review all relevant federal statutes to ensure this decision, including its implications for Federal benefits and obligations, is implemented swiftly and smoothly.

On an issue as sensitive as this, knowing that Americans hold a wide range of views based on deeply held beliefs, maintaining our nation's commitment to religious freedom is also vital. How religious institutions define and consecrate marriage has always been up to those institutions. Nothing about this decision - which applies only to civil marriages - changes that.

The laws of our land are catching up to the fundamental truth that millions of Americans hold in our hearts: when all Americans are treated as equal, no matter who they are or whom they love, we are all more free.

Department of Defense

The Department of Defense welcomes the Supreme Court's decision today on the Defense of Marriage Act. The department will immediately begin the process of implementing the Supreme Court's decision in consultation with the Department of Justice and other executive branch agencies. The Department of Defense intends to make the same benefits available to all military spouses -- regardless of sexual orientation -- as soon as possible. That is now the law and it is the right thing to do. Every person who serves our nation in uniform stepped forward with courage and commitment. All that matters is their patriotism, their willingness to serve their country, and their qualifications to do so. Today's ruling helps ensure that all men and women who serve this country can be treated fairly and equally, with the full dignity and respect they so richly deserve.

Governor Mike Pence

Governor Mike Pence today issued the following statement with regard to the United States Supreme Court decisions in U.S. v. Windsor and Hollingsworth v. Perry.

"I believe marriage is the union between a man and a woman and is a unique institution worth defending in our state and nation. For thousands of years, marriage has served as the glue that holds families and societies together and so it should ever be.

"While I am disappointed that the Supreme Court has overturned the federal Defense of Marriage Act, I am grateful that today's decisions respect the sovereignty of states on this important issue. These decisions preserve the duty and obligation of the states to define and administer marriage as they see fit.

"Now that the Supreme Court has had its say on the federal government's role in defining marriage, the people of Indiana should have their say about how marriage is understood and defined in our state.

"Given that opportunity, I am confident that Hoosiers will reaffirm our commitment to traditional marriage and will consider this important question with civility and respect for the values and dignity of all of the people of our state.

"I look forward to supporting efforts by members of the Indiana General Assembly to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot for voter consideration next year."

House Speaker Brian C. Bosma (R-Indianapolis)

"I am disappointed the federal Defense of Marriage Act has been overturned. I am certainly pleased the Supreme Court has confirmed each state's right to address the legal issue of what constitutes one of the most important institutions in our society.

"The members of the General Assembly will be fully equipped to address the issue of the constitutional amendment in the coming legislative session, and with today's decision, I am confident the matter will come before the General Assembly and ultimately be placed on a referenda ballot for voter consideration. As they have in 30 other states, Hoosiers should have the right to speak on this issue."

Statement from President Pro Tempore David Long

Indiana Senate President Pro Tempore David Long (R-Fort Wayne) made the following statement regarding today's U.S. Supreme Court rulings in the cases of United States v. Windsor and Hollingsworth v. Perry, both of which deal with the issue of defining marriage:

STATEHOUSE (June 26, 2013) - "The Defense of Marriage Act is a federal law and key portions of it were clearly struck down by today's Supreme Court ruling. However, it appears that the Court has left intact the right of states to determine for themselves how to define marriage. Therefore, I will be asking the Senate's legal staff, as well as other legal experts, to conduct a thorough analysis of the case with a goal of providing guidance for the General Assembly as we contemplate a constitutional amendment on the definition of marriage in 2014. That being said, I fully anticipate that both the Senate and House will be voting on a marriage amendment next session."

Rep. André Carson (D-IN)

Congressman André Carson (D-IN) released today the following statement after the Supreme Court issued decisions on the Defense of Marriage Act and California's Proposition 8:

I have always believed that marriage is defined by the faith and commitment held by two people who love one another. It is not the federal government's job to exert a moral authority on the private lives of our citizens. Instead, we should stick to the business of strengthening our economy, creating jobs for our citizens, and ensuring everyone has a fair chance at the American dream.

Libertarian Party of Indiana

The Libertarian Party of Indiana applauds today's U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down key provisions of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). LPIN State Chairman Dan Drexler issued the following statement:

"Today's decision by the U.S. Supreme Court is clearly an historic move toward marriage equality consistent with the long-held libertarian belief that government does not have the authority to define, license or restrict personal relationships. Consenting adults should be free to choose their own sexual practices and personal relationships. We encourage Republican leaders in the Indiana Statehouse to heed this ruling and abandon their ongoing efforts to build discrimination into Indiana's own state constitution in this year's legislative session."

Libertarian Party of Shelby County

SHELBYVILLE - The Libertarian Party of Shelby County congratulates the U.S. Supreme Court on its decisions this morning when it pertains to Proposition 8 and the federal Defense of Marriage Act. Many may recall that Proposition 8 was the 2008 California statewide referendum that repealed the right of same sex couples to marry. The Defensive of Marriage Act banned the federal government from recognizing legal same-sex marriage in states that have adopted it and denied gay and lesbian spouses a range of federal benefits that were reserved for traditional, married couples. The Libertarian Party of Shelby County applauds the U.S. Supreme Court for listening to the people, as polls show just more than half of Americans are in favor of marriage equality. The U.S. Supreme Court proved that personal freedom - the pursuit of certain unalienable rights that are granted by the Declaration of Independence and guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution - is what truly matters. As the Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Shelby County, I firmly believe that marriage freedom - getting government entirely out of marriage - is crucial. Government has no business being involved in our wallets, homes or churches and marriage. Government's meddling in marriage only blocks people from finding better ways to make their marriages and relationships work. On June 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed every American - gay, straight, lesbian or transgender - the opportunity to have equal rights. "Today is a landmark day and one that should be celebrated by everyone who has a vested interest in equal rights for every citizen regardless of sexual preference or creed. This truly is about civil rights, and we are glad to see the U.S. Supreme Court exercise common sense by granting everyone equal rights," said Paul Gable, Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Shelby County.

Indiana Equality Action, allied groups respond to SCOTUS rulings

Indiana Equality Action President Chris Paulsen and the allied groups listed below issued the following statement in response to today's U.S. Supreme Court rulings on DOMA and Proposition 8:
"The DOMA decision is an enormous victory and a joyous day for loving, married couples and their families – and for equal justice under the law. Today, the Supreme Court affirmed that all loving and committed couples who marry deserve equal legal respect and treatment.
"In an additional victory for the freedom to marry, the Supreme Court dismissed the Perry case, ruling that the proponents of Proposition 8 do not possess legal standing to appeal the lower court rulings that invalidated it. This ruling likely means the swift restoration of the freedom to marry in California.
"We are enormously encouraged by today's Supreme Court rulings, but we know that it will have little effect on the legislative situation in our state.
"Proponents of HJR6, which would permanently alter the Indiana Constitution to prohibit marriage equality, said earlier this year they would wait for the Supreme Court to act before charting their legislative course. We hope they will forsake HJR6, but we are preparing to launch a grassroots educational outreach campaign opposing the amendment should they pursue its passage.
"We continue to believe that HJR6 should be abandoned because it runs counter to our core Hoosier values and creates a host of unintended legal consequences.
"A study earlier this year by students at the IU Maurer School of Law found a significant number of rights and obligations related to marriage that could be permanently denied under the proposed amendment, and it bears noting that marriage is already strictly defined as between a man and woman under Indiana law.
"Whatever the General Assembly decides, we will be prepared either to support their decision to abandon HJR6 or to fight the amendment in every community across our state. Hoosiers value kindness and love, and we all deserve to live in a state that doesn't write inequality into its Constitution."

Cummins, Inc.

After the Supreme Court issued its rulings on the Defense of Marriage Act and California's Proposition 8, Sharon Barner, Vice President and General Counsel for Cummins Inc., said the following:

"Doing things the right way and embracing diversity are core Cummins values. We have a long and rich history of supporting civil rights issues and often Cummins has been a strong corporate voice on those issues. Today, we join many companies and individuals in commending the Supreme Court for striking down the Defense of Marriage Act and allowing the decision that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional to stand. Cummins believes that treating all people fairly and equally is the right thing to do and we are pleased to support the rights and liberties of all our employees."

Center for Inquiry

Secularist advocacy organization the Center for Inquiry heralded the Supreme Court's decisions to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act and effectively nullify California's Proposition 8 as historic and tremendous advances in civil equality that honor the just, secular character of the U.S. Constitution.

"As an organization grounded in the values of secularism and humanism, which recognize the intrinsic value of every person, we are delighted to celebrate these milestones in the struggle for full equality before the law for all citizens," said Michael De Dora, CFI's Director of Public Policy. "DOMA and Prop 8 were betrayals of the secular ideals set forth in our founding documents, relegating LGBT Americans to second-class status. The Court's rejection of these measures strongly reinforces the idea that religiously based attitudes on sex and marriage will not stand in the way of granting fundamental rights to anyone."

Ryan Anderson, Heritage Foundation

The Supreme Court announced disturbing decisions today on two important cases dealing with marriage law. The Court refused, however, to create a constitutional right to same-sex marriage.

In its ruling on California's Proposition 8, the Court declared that the citizen group that sponsored Prop 8 did not have standing to defend the constitutional amendment that millions of Californians voted to pass. The only reason this jurisdiction question was an issue is because the governor and attorney general of the state of California decided to not defend a law passed by the people of that state. …

While the government of California through its inaction has tried to silence the voices of Californians, the Court has not created a right to the redefinition of marriage. Marriage laws in the states that tell the truth about marriage—that it is a union of one man and one woman to provide children with a mom and a dad—have not been struck down. …

In its ruling on the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the Court struck down Section 3, declaring that the federal government cannot define marriage for its own federal policies and federal laws but must accept whatever the states decide about marriage. The Court's ruling, however, does not affect Section 2, which provides that no state is required to give effect to another state's recognition of same-sex marriages.

Here the Court got it wrong. The Court ignored the votes of a large bipartisan majority of members of Congress. It is absurd for the Court to suggest that Congress does not have the power to define the meaning of words in statutes that Congress itself has enacted. … This is a serious loss for federalism and democratic self-government. We must work to reverse it and to defend the rights of all Americans to make marriage policy.