Maui News

Supreme Court Strikes Down Defense of Marriage Act

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File photo by Wendy Osher.

File photo by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

The Supreme Court today ruled against the Defense of Marriage Act deeming it unconstitutional.

The ruling effectively gives legally married same-sex couples the same federal benefits as heterosexual couples.

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US Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii was among those who praised the decision calling it a “victory for all Americans.”

Sen. Shatz released the following statement:

“The Supreme Court deeming the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional is a victory for all Americans. Today’s decision means that LGBT individuals across the country are given the same rights under federal law as every married couple, and equal treatment under the law. Because of this decision, the federal government can no longer tell men and women who they can or cannot marry, and same-sex married couples can now enjoy the same federal benefits as the rest of us.  I have always believed in marriage equality, and will continue to do everything in my power to help our LGBT friends and loved ones achieve equality.”

President Barack Obama also issued a statement this morning applauding the Supreme Court decision, calling the Defense of Marriage Act “discrimination enshrined in law.”

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“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,” said President Obama in a statement.

He continued saying:

“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.”

The president said federal statutes will be reviewed to ensure that the ruling, “including its implications for federal benefits and obligations, is implemented swiftly and smoothly.”

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