Va. Politicians React to Supreme Court Ruling

June 26, 2013

The Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down a provision of a federal law denying federal benefits to married gay couples and cleared the way for the resumption of same-sex marriage in California.

The justices issued two 5-4 rulings in their final session of the term. One decision wiped away part of a federal anti-gay marriage law that has kept legally married same-sex couples from receiving tax, health and pension benefits.

Below are statements released by Virginia politicians on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) ruling:

- Lieutenant Governor candidate EW Jackson (R):

“I believe this ruling still upholds the right of the people of Virginia to hold to their traditional definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman. This ruling still keeps in place the Virginia Marriage Amendment, which I support.”

- Dave Rexrode, Campaign Manager for Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli:

"Ken Cuccinelli has always believed that marriage should be between a man and a woman. Going forward, he will continue to defend the will of the people of Virginia, an overwhelming majority of whom voted to protect the definition of traditional marriage under Virginia's Constitution."

- Virgina Attorney General's Office, statement attributable to Brian Gottstein:

"Virginia has followed the traditional definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman for more than 400 years, and Virginians voted overwhelmingly to add this traditional definition to their constitution.

"Today, the court's two decisions on marriage make clear that the rulings have no effect on the Virginia Marriage Amendment or to any other Virginia law related to marriage."

- House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R):

"The House defended this law, which passed with a large bipartisan coalition and was signed by President Clinton, because courts should determine the constitutionality of laws, not presidents. I'm disappointed in this decision, and the marriage debate will continue in the states."

- Senator Tim Kaine (D):

“Today’s Supreme Court decisions are an enormous victory for thousands of committed couples and their families across the country and a major step toward marriage equality. In ruling the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, the Court has affirmed the principle that every legally married couple has the same right to equal benefits and responsibilities. I stand with same-sex couples and their loved ones in applauding the decision to affirm the equal treatment of all married couples under the law.”

- Senator. Mark Warner (D) tweeted, "Huge victories today, but more work to be done to ensure #MarriageEquality for all Americans. #SCOTUS"

- Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate:

"I applaud the Supreme Court for their decision today because everyone should be treated equally. While I support marriage equality, I understand that this is an issue that Virginians of goodwill come down on both sides of. This decision moves our nation in the right direction, but there is more to be done to ensure we have equality for all."

- Senator and candidate for Lt. Governor Ralph Northam (D):

"I applaud the Supreme Court for ruling in favor of marriage equality and for seeing the Defense of Marriage Act for what it is: a divisive policy that unjustly discriminates against millions of Americans."

- Democratic nominee for Attorney General, State Senator Mark Herring:

“This is a historic day and I am pleased by the Supreme Court’s ruling. Today’s decision moves us closer to a more equal and inclusive society. All Americans deserve equal protection under the law, regardless of their race, gender, religion or sexual orientation.

- The Democratic Party of Virginia Chair Delegate Charniele Herring:

"DOMA was truly an unjust law that contradicted the American belief that all people are created equal."

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