Groups weigh in on Supreme Court's gay marriage ruling

AG office

"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.

"Consistent with the duties of the attorney general, this office will continue to defend challenges to the constitution and the laws of Virginia."

Tim Kaine

"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."

ACLU of Virginia

"The ACLU of Virginia joins Californians in celebrating today's ruling by the Supreme Court dismissing the appeal of the federal court decision that invalidated Prop 8 and restoring the freedom to marry in that state. With the addition of California today, fully 30% of the American public now lives in a freedom-to-marry state, up from just 11% last October.  

"In recent years, public support for the freedom to marry has been increasing at an unprecedented rate across the nation and in Virginia.  Recent polling indicates that 56% of Virginians now favor legal marriage for all couples regardless of sexual orientation, up from 46% in 2011.   

"The ACLU of Virginia has been working for decades to secure the freedom to marry across the country. Our affiliate was founded by lawyers who represented the Lovings in the case that established the right to marry across racial lines. We stood with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Virginians in opposing the amendment that enshrined discrimination in the Virginia constitution, and, today, we renew our commitment to ensuring that all Virginians regardless of sexual orientation have the freedom to marry the person they love. It is time to treat loving and committed gay couples as we treat all families."

Virginia Organizing

"Virginia Organizing is extremely pleased that the U.S. Supreme Court voted to protect the federal benefits of all people lawfully married. The Supreme Court is responsible for protecting the constitutional rights of every person, and today, the justices made it clear that the federal government may not infringe on the rights of same-sex married couples to receive the same protections and benefits as opposite-sex married couples.

"Although this is a victory in the movement toward marriage equality, Virginia's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage continues to trample the rights of Virginians. The people of our nation are ready to move forward with equality and we call on Virginia's lawmakers to end the discrimination against same-sex couples' right to marry. Virginia Organizing will continue to work for equality of all people and fight against policies that discriminate against any class of individuals."

Victoria Cobb, president of the Family Foundation of Virginia

"This is a mixed bag for both sides.  We're certainly disappointed the Court struck down DOMA but the Court has allowed the decision that millions of Americans, and Virginians, have already made on the definition of marriage to stand.  Make no mistake, this was a major defeat for advocates of same-sex marriage who asked the Supreme Court to find a constitutional right to marriage and impose their definition on fifty states.  The debate over marriage will continue in the legislative and political process, where it belongs.  Virginia's marriage amendment stands.

"Regardless of the decision, the Court does not have the power to change the reality that children deserve both a mom and a dad.  We will continue to do all we can do to educate citizens on the importance of natural marriage for children and society."

Richmond Gay Community Foundation

"With this decision adding to the momentum for marriage, we will continue working to win the freedom to marry, pursuing the same strategy that brought us to this historic day. It's not rocket science. That strategy is allowing people to get to know us. The more we learn about each other, the more we realize how little we have to fear."

Terry McAuliffe

"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.

"My opponent has spent his career putting up walls around Virginia and telling gay Virginians that they're not welcome.   He even went so far as to order public colleges and universities to remove protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation for faculty and students.  We must make Virginia the best place in the world to live, work, and raise a family, and there is no place in our future for intolerance or discriminatory rhetoric."

ACLU of Virginia Executive Director Claire G. Gastañaga

"This is truly a historic victory and a step forward for Edie Windsor and for loving, married same-sex couples and their families. There are more than 1,100 federal laws and programs where being married makes a difference-from tax laws, to eligibility for family medical leave, to social security survivor's benefits, to access to health care for a spouse.

"With today's ruling, the Supreme Court strikes down the very core of the Defense of Marriage Act, the last federal law on the books that explicitly mandates discrimination against LGBT people by the federal government simply because they are not heterosexual. It is just and right that the Supreme Court has recognized that it is past time for our federal government to treat legally married LGBT couples no differently than it treats legally married heterosexual couples. With this decision, we are moving forward to a time when every person will have the freedom to marry the person they love and to have that marriage accorded the same legal status regardless of who they are. The ACLU of Virginia earnestly looks forward to that time and will continue to take action to achieve that goal."