RI Reactions to SCOTUS Decision on DOMA

Jun 26, 2013

Congressman David Cicilline is calling this a good day for equality, reacting to news of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision striking down a provision of a federal law denying federal benefits to married gay couples.

“No longer will people be discriminated against because of who they love,” said Cicilline, “and all marriages will be respected and people will be treated equally under the law. That’s a great victory.”

Congressman Jim Langevin is calling the decision “an enormous victory for equal rights.” In a statement Langevin said, “today’s decision to strike down DOMA will go down in history alongside other groundbreaking civil rights cases such as Brown v. Board of Education. There is simply no place for discrimination in our law or our society.”  

Senator Jack Reed called the decision an important step, and said in a statement that it will prevent discrimination against same-sex marriages. “While the Supreme Court’s decisions advance marriage equality, more work remains.  The Administration must now implement the ruling and Congress should pass clear rules to ensure the federal government properly recognizes same-sex marriages that were legally entered into.” 

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, in a statement, called the decision a civil rights landmark.  “Same-sex couples should have all the same rights as other Americans, and I applaud the Supreme Court for standing on the side of equality and progress with these two decisions," said Whitehouse.  "I especially congratulate the Rhode Island LGBT community and their allies who fought so long to pass the same-sex marriage law in Rhode Island."

In a statement, Gov. Lincoln Chafee said he’s pleased federal protections and benefits will be extended to Rhode Islanders getting married legally in the state. The state’s same-sex marriage law goes into effect August 1st.

The Diocese of Providence has yet to comment on the decision. But the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is calling the Supreme Court ruling quote, “a tragic day for marriage in our nation.” In a statement the Conference of Bishops says the nation’s highest court was wrong in striking down a provision in the Defense of Marriage Act, saying the federal government needs to respect the truth that marriage is between one man and one woman.

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