Conyers Hails Historic Supreme Court Ruling as Victory for Marriage Equality
Washington, DC, June 26, 2013
Today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, in a 5-4 decision, that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. Section 3 defined marriage for purposes of federal law as the legal union of a man and woman, thus denying thousands of married gay and lesbian couples federal responsibilities and rights provided all other married couples. Following the decision by the Supreme Court, Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) issued the following statement:
“The ruling by the Supreme Court today, striking down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, is a monumental step forward in our nation’s path towards true equality.
“This decision breathes life into the Constitution’s guarantee of equal liberty for all. From its inception, the Defense of Marriage Act was blatantly discriminatory and premised on intolerance – that is why I led the fight against it in 1996 and have fought ever since to make sure this law finds its way into the history books where it belongs. The Supreme Court rightly recognized that denying federal benefits to same-sex couples was indefensible. And, in applying the equal protection clause in their decision, the Supreme Court recognized that laws that brand gay and lesbian Americans as less worthy than others will not be tolerated in our constitutional system.
“That thousands of loving, married gay and lesbian couples will now be able to participate fully in federal programs designed to ensure the well-being of American families is cause for celebration, and brings us one step closer to true marriage equality.”