- - Friday, June 26, 2015

Reaction has been swift and strong to the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in favor of same-sex marriage. Here is a sampling:

• “Thanks to the Supreme Court, a period of deep injustice in this nation is coming to a close, but it’s also clear today that there is still so much work to do. As long as discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people is tolerated — whether in the seeking of a marriage license, the pursuit of fairness on the job, or the fight for equal treatment at a restaurant or business — we haven’t truly guaranteed equal justice under the law. But today’s victory proves that anything is possible, and I could not be more hopeful about the capacity of this country to change for the better.”

— Jim Obergefell, the named plaintiff who brought the case to the Supreme Court

• “The Supreme Court has stripped all Americans of our freedom to debate and decide marriage policy through the democratic process. The freedom to democratically address the most pressing social issues of the day is the heart of liberty. The court took that freedom from the people and overrode the considered judgment of tens of millions of Americans who recently reaffirmed marriage as the union of a man and a woman. The court cast aside the understanding of marriage’s nature and purpose that diverse cultures and faiths across the globe have embraced for millennia.”

— Jim Campbell, senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, which argued states should have the right to regulate marriage

• “I enthusiastically applaud the Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges. This decision, and what it means for the LGBT community, has been a long-time coming and is the result of decades of struggle and perseverance. Now, same-sex couples throughout the country will be guaranteed the recognition and legal protections they so fully deserve. No longer will their families be viewed as lesser in the eyes of the law.”

— Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Florida Democrat and chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee

• “The Supreme Court failed to recognize the states’ constitutional role in setting marriage policy, instead finding a federal role where there is none. In doing so, they have taken power away from the states and from the people to settle the relevant issues for themselves. Even though the Supreme Court has spoken with finality, there remains a diversity of opinions about marriage policy — from those celebrating today’s ruling to those concerned about the constitutional balance of power. As a party, … we will remain champions of religious liberty. Today’s ruling cannot and must not be used to coerce a church or religious institution into performing marriages that their faith does not recognize.”

— Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee

• “Guided by my faith, I believe in traditional marriage. I believe the Supreme Court should have allowed the states to make this decision. I also believe that we should love our neighbor and respect others, including those making lifetime commitments. In a country as diverse as ours, good people who have opposing views should be able to live side by side. It is now crucial that as a country we protect religious freedom and the right of conscience and also not discriminate.”

— Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, 2016 GOP presidential candidate

• We must resist and reject judicial tyranny, not retreat. … Under our Constitution, the court cannot write a law, even though some cowardly politicians will wave the white flag and accept it without realizing that they are failing their sworn duty to reject abuses from the court. If accepted by Congress and this president, this decision will be a serious blow to religious liberty, which is the heart of the First Amendment.”

— Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, 2016 GOP presidential candidate

• “While I strongly disagree with the Supreme Court’s decision, their ruling is now the law of the land. I call on Congress to make sure deeply held religious views are respected and protected. The government must never force Christians to violate their religious beliefs. I support same sex civil unions but to me, and millions like me, marriage is a religious service not a government form.”

— Ben Carson, 2016 GOP presidential candidate

• “This decision is about creating a future where loving, committed families are able to live with dignity. This is about freedom. This is about love. This is transformative, not only for LGBT families, but for America. Shamefully, generations of LGBT Americans have been forced to live the indignity of invisibility, having been denied the comfort and legal benefits of marriage. Finally, every loving American — regardless of their race or where they live, regardless of their gender or gender identity — has the right to marry the person they love.”

— House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat

• “All human beings are created equal by God and thus deserve to be treated with love, dignity and respect. I am, however, disappointed that the Supreme Court disregarded the democratically-enacted will of millions of Americans by forcing states to redefine the institution of marriage. My views are based on my upbringing and my faith. I believe that marriage is a sacred vow between one man and one woman, and I believe Americans should be able to live and work according to their beliefs.”

— House Speaker John Boehner, Ohio Republican

• “Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court serves only as further encouragement to use the court system as a systematic springboard to enact agendas outside the democratic and legislative structures of government. Thirty states have held statewide ballots banning gay marriage since the year 2000, and yet legislating from the bench has superseded both public approval and our elected representatives. This is not only a sad day for marriage, but a further judicial destruction of our entire system of checks and balances.”

— Rep. Tom Price, Georgia Republican

• “The Supreme Court’s decision is a huge victory for same-sex couples in the U.S. that will reverberate in many countries that still deny people the right to marry the person they love. It will strengthen everyone’s fundamental rights to equality and non-discrimination, irrespective of sexual orientation or gender identity.”

— Boris Dittrich, LGBT rights advocacy director at Human Rights Watch

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