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East Palo Alto Today                        Follow East Palo Alto Today on
Wednesday, June 26, 2013                     Facebook    Twitter         Blog    
                                            
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In recognizing today's Supreme Court ruling striking down the Defense of Marriage Act, Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) said, “This ruling is a victory for fundamental American values. It is a statement for fairness, an affirmation of our common humanity, and a vindication of equal rights under the law.   

“Military spouses will no longer be denied base services because they are lesbian or gay. Binational married couples will no longer be split apart by our immigration laws. Federal workers will finally be able to provide health insurance for their families. For Edith Windsor, the widow who brought this case to the Supreme Court, today’s decision means the federal government must refund the extra $363,000 she paid in taxes after the death of her wife—her partner of 40 years.

“Married couples will benefit, but so will LGBT youth, who can grow up knowing that they enjoy the same constitutional protections as their straight peers.

“Almost 44 years to the day since Stonewall, our country has taken a big step towards full equality. I will continue fighting until marriage equality is the law of the land.”


California Assemblyman Rich Gordon (Menlo Park), who is the Chair of the Legislative Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Caucus issued a statement in which he said, “Marriage equality has been a priority and a dream of the LGBT community for decades. Today, with the Supreme Court’s announcements, we are realizing that dream and we now celebrate equal marriage rights for all Californians. 

In 2008, I had the privilege of marrying my partner of 26 years. This was one of the greatest days of my life, as we were finally able to stand together and say, in front of our friends, family and loved ones, ‘We are a family.’ This is an experience that many loving couples have been unjustly denied until now.  We are not just a gay couple; we are two individuals who are deeply in love. 

Furthermore, with the high court striking down DOMA, this is truly a historic day for all Californians and all Americans who value fairness and equality. The institution of marriage not only provides over 1,000 legal and financial privileges, it is a powerful symbol of a couple’s love and commitment. It is something to be cherished and shared.

The passage of Proposition 8 was a dark day for individual freedoms and rights. The ban on marriage equality came as shock to most; but we have learned from our missteps, recovered and continue to march on.

While this is a day for celebration, we must also remember that our work is not yet done. Only thirteen states and the District of Columbia have achieved the dream of marriage equality. However, public opinion is rapidly changing.  In May alone, Rhode Island, Delaware, and Minnesota achieved marriage equality, and for the first time ever a majority of Americans now favor equal marriage rights. With momentum on our side, we will not rest until every American can exercise their right to marry who they love.”