Here's what various local and national organizations and individuals had to say about the Supreme Court's DOMA and Prop 8 rulings:
U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.): "No more will thousands of loving gay and lesbian couples see their marriage ignored by the federal government, leaving them without the protections opposite-sex married couples enjoy. With 93 million Americans now living in states that recognize same-sex marriages, and 58 percent of the country in favor of marriage equality, we now have the public, the courts and the Constitution on our side."
Edith "Edie" Windsor, through the American Civil Liberties Union: "DOMA violated the fundamentally American principles of fairness and equality. Because of today's Supreme Court ruling, every child born today will be able to grow up in a world without DOMAa world where the federal government won't discriminate against their marriages no matter who they are."
Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin: "Today's historic decisions put two giant cracks in the dark wall of discrimination that separates committed gay and lesbian couples from full equality. While we celebrate the victory for Californians today, tomorrow we turn our attention to the millions of LGBT people who don't feel the reach of these decisions. From the Rocky Mountains to the heart of the South, it's time to push equality forward until every American can marry the person they love and all LGBT people are guaranteed equal protection under the law."
Center for American Progress Executive Vice President for External Affairs Winnie Stachelberg: "LGBT Americans won big today; however, it's unfortunate that today's victory came following other recent rulings striking at the heart of many Americans' equality before the law. History will not look kindly upon many of the Roberts Court's other rulings this term."
Lambda Legal: "This is a huge victory for married same-sex couples and their families because it will affect almost every facet of life from health care to retirement to taxes. ... At Lambda Legal, we are popping champagne corks and offer our congratulations to the courageous plaintiffs in these cases, and our thanks to the ACLU and their co-counsel at Paul Weiss and to Ted Olson and David Boies, and the American Foundation for Equal Rights, for securing these tremendous victories."
Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) Executive Director Lee Swislow: "The Court has removed the stain and the insult that is DOMA. This is an enormous victory and a joyous day for loving, married couples and their familiesand for thousands of couples in California who will now be able to express their commitment through marriage."
Southern Poverty Law Center: ""Today's decision is a step in the right direction for same-sex couples who have made legal commitments to each other," said David Dinielli, SPLC deputy legal director. "The court's long-overdue decision affirms that Section 3 of DOMA constitutes an irrational and unjustified deprivation of the dignity and liberty interests of gay people and same-sex couples. It seems almost unthinkable that such a blatantly unfair law would exist today."
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel: ""The Supreme Court's decision today is a major step forward in the ongoing fight to ensure that government won't discriminate and will treat all love equally. This decision should strengthen our commitment in the State of Illinois toward ensuring that the life-long commitments of all Americans are honored and respected by the law. The state should not be standing in the way of two people loving each other. America has faced obstacles on our journey to equality before and we have always overcome them. The struggle for marriage equality will be no different."
American Jewish World Service President Ruth Messinger: "We applaud today's historic decisions by the Supreme Court to strike down discriminatory laws as a major victory for equal rights for LGBTI people in the United States. We believe that this is one of the necessary steps to ensure that the human rights of people of all sexual orientations are respected everywhere in the world."
Transgender Law Center: "While our community faces many other significant challenges, marriage equality is an issue that affects many transgender people in this country," said Masen Davis, executive director of Transgender law Center. "It's good for all of us when the government gets out of the business of using gender to decide who gets access to certain benefits. This is a tremendous victory for the entire LGBT community. We urge the state of California to act quickly to allow same-sex couples to marry again."
Point Foundation: "Members of the Point family that have already married, and those who are planning to wed soon, can now feel more secure in knowing that their marriage will be recognized by the federal government and the states that recognize same-sex marriages."
Family Equality Council: "This is an historic and momentous day for millions of families in our country with parents who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) said Family Equality Council Board Chair Alan Bernstein. "Today the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed that loving, married same-sex couples and their children deserve equal protection under the law."
San Francisco Pride: "By rightly restoring the constitutional rights to civil marriage for same sex couples in California, this long awaited ruling sends a clear message to all Americans that equal protection under the law has once again triumphed over discrimination. San Francisco Pride proudly welcomes the million plus visitors from around the nation and world to San Francisco for what promises to be an epic celebration of these tremendous victories for LGBT equality."
GetEQUAL: "While we had hoped that the Supreme Court would issue a sweeping ruling that solidifies what we all already knowthat the right to marry is guaranteed within the U.S. Constitutionwe did not get a declarative, conclusive ruling for marriage equality across the country. We're thrilled for those couples who live in states with marriage equality who will now be able to cement their love and their lives together under the law, but our hearts are with those couples who still live in 'inequality' states."
GLAAD: ""At long last, the legal marriages of countless gay and lesbian couples will be afforded the same federal recognition and protections as any other," said GLAAD spokesperson Wilson Cruz. "Today is a cornerstone for justice and equalitywhen our nation once again moved closer to recognizing and celebrating all LGBT Americans for their contributions to our great country."
U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.): "Today's ruling is a tremendous victory for our LGBT community and for everyone who believes in America's founding principles of liberty and justice for all. By ruling the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, legally married gay and lesbian couples and their families will finally have equal access to the rights and benefits guaranteed to them by federal law. With more to celebrate than ever this Pride Month, we must not forget that the fight for equality is far from over."
Service Employees International Union: "Despite this historic day for LGBT rights, we must remember that there is more work to do to ensure equality for all Americans. In 29 states a person can still be fired simply because of who he or she loves. Passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act is the next fight we must take on if we are truly going to ensure equality on the job for all Americans and we look forward to joining with our allies to end discrimination in the workplace."
Gay Liberation Network: "While many are applauding today's 5-4 victory over Section 3 of the federal 'Defense of Marriage Act,' the big-picture story is that by refusing to rule on the substance of California's anti-gay Proposition 8, the Court has allowed same-sex couples in 37 states to continue experiencing legal discrimination not just in marriage, but in most states, also housing, employment and access to public accommodations."
American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers: "We fully support the Supreme Court's decision. The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) had infringed upon the rights of same-sex couples, who can legally marry in a growing number of states. Same-sex married couples should not have been denied the benefits of more than 1,000 federal laws available to heterosexual couples, which had been the case with DOMA."
U.S. Department of Defense: "The Department of Defense welcomes the Supreme Court's decision today on the Defense of Marriage Act. The department will immediately begin the process of implementing the Supreme Court's decision in consultation with the Department of Justice and other executive branch agencies. The Department of Defense intends to make the same benefits available to all military spousesregardless of sexual orientationas soon as possible. That is now the law and it is the right thing to do."
Equally Blessed (a coalition of four Catholic organizations): "As members of the Catholic Church and citizens of the United States, we are elated that the U. S. Supreme Court has both struck down the Defense of Marriage Act and cleared the way for marriage equality in the state of California. We are especially pleased to see that Justice Anthony Kennedy, a Catholic, wrote the opinion striking down DOMA, and that Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who is also a Catholic, concurred in this historic decision."
The National Black Justice Coalition: "Antiquated laws like Proposition 8 and DOMA disproportionately harm LGBT people of color, and ultimately our nation," said NBJC Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer Sharon Lettman-Hicks. "Today is a victorious day for our community, our families, and our love."
Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius: "The Supreme Court's decision on DOMA reaffirms the core belief that we are all created equal and must be treated as equal. The Department of Health and Human Services will work with the Department of Justice to review all relevant federal statutes and ensure this decision is implemented swiftly and smoothly."
International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC): "Those couples that want to marry, whose lives have been held in limbo while awaiting these decisions have suffered enough. Quite simply, on this historic day we rejoice.
"Yesterday, IGLHRC mourned two other U.S. Supreme Court decisions that treated discrimination itself unequally. The court struck down a key part of the law designed to prevent racist bias in the voting system. Likewise, IGLHRC mourned the court's decision to undermine a U.S. federal law devised to keep Native American families together."
More responses here: www.windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/DOMA-and-Prop-8-cut-down-responses/43424.html .