Home GLBT Equality Virginia, Other Statements on Supreme Court Rulings

Equality Virginia, Other Statements on Supreme Court Rulings

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From Equality Virginia (see other statements in the comments section):

RICHMOND, VA – Equality Virginia applauds today’s ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act and its dismissal of the Proposition 8 case. EV believes the Supreme Court’s actions will continue to lay the groundwork for marriage equality in more states, including Virginia.

“Since 2006, Virginia has had a constitutional amendment that prohibits the legal recognition of gay and lesbian couples,” Equality Virginia Executive Director James Parrish said.  “While we continue working to lift the ban on marriage here at home, we can celebrate today’s decision from the Supreme Court, affirming that all loving and committed couples deserve equal respect and treatment.”

Today’s DOMA ruling means thousands of married gay and lesbian couples will now have access to federal benefits to protect each other and their children.  Same-sex couples married and living in one of the now 13 freedom-to-marry states or the District of Columbia will clearly be eligible for the federal protections and responsibilities afforded to all other married couples.

“For legally married same-sex couples, and widows or widowers, who live in a state like Virginia that discriminates against their marriages, access to those federal marital protections is less clear and will require some work,” Parrish explained.

Today’s dismissal of Hollingsworth v. Perry restored marriage to Californians, and now nearly one-third of the U.S. population will live in a jurisdiction that has the freedom to marry.  Thirteen states plus Washington, DC will have marriage equality.

In Virginia this past weekend, couples hosted house parties to support marriage equality and to celebrate their own relationships in anticipation of the Supreme Court’s decisions.  Over fifty events were held across the state.  Photos and stories of Virginia’s married gay and lesbian couples can be found online at EqualityVirginia.org.

Equality Virginia is a statewide, non-partisan education, outreach, and advocacy organization seeking equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Virginians.  Since 1989, EV has worked to end discrimination, protect families and build safe communities.  More information is online at EqualityVirginia.org.  Connect on Facebook.com/EqualityVA or Twitter @EqualityVA.

  • Virginia Young Democrats Say Supreme Court Decision on Marriage Equality “Fits with Equality under the Law Guaranteed by Our Constitution”

    Virginia – June 26, 2013 – News Release – Today, in a 5-to-4 decision, the Supreme Court of the United States of America overturned the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA.)  The Virginia Young Democrats applaud this decision.

    “The Virginia Young Democrats have supported marriage equality for many years and we re-affirmed that belief by passing a resolution last year to add marriage equality to the 2012 Democratic platform,” said Gonzalo Aida of Richmond, president of the Virginia Young Democrats. “Today’s ruling fits with equality under the law guaranteed by our Constitution.”

    Marriage equality legislation is especially important in Virginia since the historic ruling in Loving vs. Virginia.

    “Rulings like Windsor vs. United States of America have a special significance for Virginians,” said Atima Omara-Alwala of Arlington, vice president of the Young Democrats of America and former Board member of the LGBT Democrats of Virginia. “Forty-six years ago, Loving vs. Virginia struck down the laws prohibiting interracial marriages; a law that would have prohibited my husband and I from marrying. Sadly, over four decades later Virginia is again on the wrong side of history with equality.”

    Marriage equality is not the only piece of the VAYD’s LGBTQ equality agenda; they also support the enactment of federal and state-level employee non-discrimination legislation and supported the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT.)

    “Unfortunately, having marriage equality recognized on the federal level is not the last step advocating for equality in Virginia,” said James Lewis of Alexandria, Virginia Young Democrats director of public affairs.  “The Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia still prevents marriage equality and the Commonwealth has zero employee protections for members of the LGBTQ community.  We are celebrating today but we have more work to do tomorrow.”

    Members of the Virginia Young Democrats added these thoughts:

    “Today’s ruling is important to me as a progressive, it moves America and Virginia one step closer on this long journey to ensure all people are treated equally under the law regardless of sex, race, religious, disability status or who they love,” said Morgan Jameson of Vienna, VAYD Treasurer and vice president of Fairfax PRIDE.

    “I can think of no federal law more at odds with the Constitution than DOMA,” said Zachary Woodward, president of the William and Mary Young Democrats. “It disrespects both the dignity of the thousands of gay couples legally married in the U.S. and the rights of the states that have chosen to wed those couples. I’m glad the Supreme Court struck it down.”

  • Washington, DC – Congressman Jim Moran, Northern Virginia Democrat, today released the following statement regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in U.S. v. Windsor, which ruled the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional. Moran voted against DOMA when it was enacted by Congress in 1996 and has been fighting for its repeal ever since.

    “The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision today puts the court on the right side of history. DOMA is unjust, un-American, and out of step with the values of our country. Beginning today, same-sex couples in the 12 freedom to marry states will be eligible for the federal protections and responsibilities afforded all other married couples.

    “Our nation has a long history of fighting to overcome discrimination to secure civil rights for all citizens. I hope this decision gives momentum to efforts across the country to enshrine marriage equality into our laws. Discrimination has no place in our country.

    “Republicans have wasted more than $3 million on this lawsuit over the past three years. That’s unconscionable while budgets are being slashed by sequestration and many federal workers face furloughs.

    “The Declaration of Independence affirms that “all men are created equal” and that every American has a right to “the pursuit of happiness.” These principles cannot be fulfilled without the ability to marry the person you love.”

  • @GerryConnolly tweets: “#SCOTUS finally recognizes that we’re all worthy of equal protection under the law in striking #DOMA. Good day for America #MarriageEquality”

  • From the McAuliffe for Governor campaign:

    Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe released the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act:

    “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.”

  • Great comment by Mo Elleithee:

    So the Supreme Court has ruled FOR Obamacare, FOR a woman’s right to choosec and FOR same sex marriage. That pretty much invalidates Ken Cuccinelli’s entire record as Attorney General of Virginia, don’t you think?

  • From the Northam for LG campaign:

    Richmond, VA – Today state Senator and candidate for Lt. Governor Ralph Northam released the following statement on the Supreme Court’s ruling to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA):

    “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.  I am running to put a stop to the divisive agenda that has been a roadblock to progress here in Virginia, and as Lieutenant Governor I will work to further the cause of equality because discrimination has no place in our Commonwealth.”

  • Mark Warner tweets:

    “YES!!!!! #DOMA #SCOTUS

    Huge victories today, but more work to be done to ensure #MarriageEquality for all Americans. #SCOTUS”  

  • From the Mark Herring for AG campaign:

    Democratic nominee for Attorney General, State Senator Mark Herring, issued the following statement today following the decision of the United States Supreme Court to strike down the Defense Of Marriage Act (DOMA):

    “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.

    “Unfortunately, Mark Obenshain continues to oppose marriage equality and has consistently opposed efforts to end discrimination based on sexual orientation in our state government. When it comes to equality, Mark Obenshain, like his ticket mates Ken Cuccinelli and E.W. Jackson, is far outside the mainstream.

    “As Attorney General, I will protect the civil rights of all Virginians and use the powers of the office to promote equality while we work to change Virginia’s current law which prohibits same-sex marriage.”

  • From the Democratic Party of Virginia:

    RICHMOND — Today, the United States Supreme Court ruled the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. The Democratic Party of Virginia Chair Delegate Charniele Herring released the following statement:

    “I’m pleased with today’s decision,” said DPVA Chair Delegate Charniele Herring. “DOMA was truly an unjust law that contradicted the American belief that all people are created equal.

    “I am hopeful that the Court’s decision will continue the great progress we’ve made toward fairness and that we continue to expand equal rights and opportunities for all Americans.”

  • I applaud the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act.  This was discrimination enshrined in law.  It treated loving, committed gay and lesbian couples as a separate and lesser class of people.  The Supreme Court has righted that wrong, and our country is better off for it.  We are a people who declared that we are all created equal – and the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.

    This ruling is a victory for couples who have long fought for equal treatment under the law; for children whose parents’ marriages will now be recognized, rightly, as legitimate; for families that, at long last, will get the respect and protection they deserve; and for friends and supporters who have wanted nothing more than to see their loved ones treated fairly and have worked hard to persuade their nation to change for the better.

    So we welcome today’s decision, and I’ve directed the Attorney General to work with other members of my Cabinet to review all relevant federal statutes to ensure this decision, including its implications for Federal benefits and obligations, is implemented swiftly and smoothly.

    On an issue as sensitive as this, knowing that Americans hold a wide range of views based on deeply held beliefs, maintaining our nation’s commitment to religious freedom is also vital.  How religious institutions define and consecrate marriage has always been up to those institutions.  Nothing about this decision – which applies only to civil marriages – changes that.  

    The laws of our land are catching up to the fundamental truth that millions of Americans hold in our hearts:  when all Americans are treated as equal, no matter who they are or whom they love, we are all more free.

  • From the Democratic Party of Virginia:

    As Virginians and Americans across the country celebrate two Supreme Court rulings striking down limitations on equal rights and marriage equality, the person least likely to be celebrating is extremist Republican Ken Cuccinelli.

    Equal rights for all Virginians couldn’t be more offensive to Cuccinelli, who has spent much of his career launching divisive and mean-spirited attacks on gay and lesbian Virginians. From claims that gay marriage could lead to polygamy, to saying homosexuality “brings nothing but self-destruction” and that it is “not healthy to society,” Cuccinelli’s extremist social agenda clearly goes against the mainstream in Virginia.

    Below is a recap of Ken Cuccinelli’s dangerous rhetoric targeted at gay and lesbian Virginians:

    HEADLINE: In Supreme Court Brief, Ken Cuccinelli Warned Of A Slippery Slope From Gay Marriage To Polygamy

    In June 2013, ABC News reported, “Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli’s opposition to gay marriage is well established. But as the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to issue decisions on two major gay marriage cases this week, less well-known is his co-authorship, in January 2013, of a court brief that laid out an argument against the constitutionality of allowing same-sex couples to marry. In the amicus brief, Cuccinelli, the attorney general of Virginia, and Greg Zoeller, the attorney general or Indiana, used a novel justification to make their point in one section of the 55-page brief – namely that gay marriage could lead to polygamy.” [ABC News, 6/25/13]

    Cuccinelli Warned against Gay Policy Agenda Starting With Equal Marriage Rights and Leading to HIV/AIDS Education. In February 2004, the Washington Times reported, “Mr. Cuccinelli and others worry recent protests on the topic are part of an overall strategy by homosexuals, who he thinks plan to ‘dismantle sodomy laws’ and ‘get education about homosexuals and AIDS in public schools.'” [Washington Times, 2/19/04]  

    Cuccinelli Said Being Gay “Brings Nothing but Self-Destruction, No Only Physically But Of Their Soul.” He said, “When you look at the homosexual agenda, I cannot support something that I believe brings nothing but self-destruction, not only physically but of their soul.” [Washington Post, 2/05/08]

    Cuccinelli: Homosexual Acts are “Intrinsically Wrong.” In October 2009, an editorial in the Virginian Pilot quoted Cuccinelli, “My view is that homosexual acts, not homosexuality, but homosexual acts are wrong. They’re intrinsically wrong. And I think in a natural law based country it’s appropriate to have policies that reflect that. … They don’t comport with natural law. I happen to think that it represents (to put it politely; I need my thesaurus to be polite) behavior that is not healthy to an individual and in aggregate is not healthy to society.” [Virginian Pilot Editorial, 10/26/09]

    Cuccinelli: Homosexuality “In Aggregate is not healthy to Society.” He said, “I happen to think that it represents . . . behavior that is not healthy to an individual and in aggregate is not healthy to society.” [Washington Post, 10/29/09]

    Cuccinelli: Society Should Not Condone Homosexuality “Because It Is Not Healthy for The Individual” He said, “That is not to say that public policy ought to encourage in any way that course, nor should it encourage it implicitly, because it is not healthy for the individual. It is not healthy for the society, never has been historically.” [Susan Baer, Washingtonian, April 2011]

    Cuccinelli: Society Shouldn’t “Alter Our Law to Make People Feel Good.” He said, “As much as we want to include every individual in Virginia society and the whole society, we shouldn’t necessarily alter our law to make people feel good, be it about themselves or about any aspect of the community.” [Susan Baer, Washingtonian, April 2011]

    Cuccinelli “Stirred Up a Partisan Firestorm” by Directing Public Colleges and Universities to Remove Protections against Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation

    In March 2010, the Daily Press reported “Cuccinelli stirred up a partisan firestorm this week when he wrote state-supported colleges and universities to warn that school leaders did not have the power to ban discrimination against workers based on sexual orientation. Cuccinelli said only the General Assembly has the legal authority to expand anti-discrimination policies for the state’s 100,000-plus work force. And the General Assembly turned down that opportunity just this week.” [Daily Press, 3/06/10]

  • DJRippert

    Stop celebrating!  Or, at least contain your celebration to that reserved for a good play or a good series.

    The game is not over.

    It’s halftime in Virginia.

    The Supreme Court forbids the federal government from disrespecting the eleven states where gay marriage is legal.  Good.  But gay marriage is not legal in Virginia.  Bad.

    The second half comes this November.  Elect Cuccinelli and the Supreme Court ruling will ring hollow in the ears, hearts, minds and souls of those who support gay rights.  Elect McAuliffe and win the game.

    But please … don’t quit at halftime.

  • Senator McEachin Statement on DOMA/Prop 8 Ruling; Virginia Still has Long Way to Go

    Henrico – Senator A. Donald McEachin (D-Henrico) issued this statement in response to the Supreme Court ruling today. “Like many Virginians and Americans, I am very pleased and excited about the Supreme Court’s rulings today. This is an outstanding step towards full equality for all Americans.

    However, here in Virginia we still have a lot of work to do. Here, someone can still be fired for who they are, regardless of their job performance. Here, an LGBT couple cannot adopt a child and create a legally composed family, no matter how much love and opportunity they have to offer. Here, an Attorney General – who now wants to be our governor – can try to tell our colleges and universities that they cannot have non-discriminatory policies. And, here in Virginia, gay and lesbian couples cannot legally marry the person they love.

    While I am thrilled with today’s decision, we still have much to accomplish and I promise I will continue to fight until ALL Virginians have equal opportunity, justice and fairness.”