This morning, Wednesday, June 26, 2013,  in a 5 to 4 decision the United States Supreme Court ruled that Section 3 of federal Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional, and the federal government must treat the marriages of same-sex couples the same as all other marriages for purposes of federal programs and benefits. The Court also ruled that the proponents of California’s Proposition 8—the 2008 measure that stripped the freedom to marry from same-sex couples in that state—did not have the right to appeal Judge Vaughn Walker’s 2010 decision striking down the measure. Same-sex couples will again be able to marry in California. 

We've waited for years. And we've just learned that California's Proposition 8 and the federal Defense of Marriage Act are HISTORY! said Kate Kendell, Esq. NCLR Executive Director

Leading Jewish Social Justice Group Celebrates Ruling as True to American Jewish Values
NEW YORK CITY—In a landmark victory for civil rights, the US Supreme Court today struck down a key section of the Defense of Marriage Act, which had prevented same-sex couples in legal marriages from enjoying equal protection under federal law and equal access to federal benefits for married couples.  The court also dismissed an appeal regarding California’s Proposition 8, making it possible for same-sex marriage to resume in that state. “American Jews nationwide applaud today’s ruling from the Supreme Court, which continues the proud American tradition of ever-expanding personal rights, and honors the Jewish values of shared humanity and equality that we hold dear,” said Alan van Capelle, CEO of Bend the Arc, a leading national Jewish social justice organization.  “Having faced prejudice and bigotry throughout our history, the Jewish community does not tolerate unjust discrimination against others.  Personally, as a gay Jewish man who has long been fighting for LGBT rights, it means so much to see our highest court rule that my family has as much right to happiness and protection under the law as any other. We have come far.  But there is more to do. The Court has opened the door to greater equality for all people, and now is the time for our state and national officials to lead the march through it.  Our elected leaders must turn this decision into action and make full equality a reality for all Americans and their families.”

"Today’s historic decisions put two giant cracks in the dark wall of discrimination that separates committed gay and lesbian couples from full equality,” said HRC president Chad Griffin, who brought together the bipartisan legal team of Ted Olson and David Boies that brought the Proposition 8 case to the Supreme Court. “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.”

The American Military Partner Association (AMPA), the nation’s premier resource and support network for LGBT military families, released the following statement today in response to the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the 2nd Circuit Court's ruling on the unconstitutionality of DOMA.  “Considering today’s ruling in favor of federal recognition of same-sex marriage, we are especially eager to see the Department of Defense quickly extend equal benefits for all legally married service members," said Stephen Peters, president of AMPA. "It's a great day for all LGBT families, but especially our military families who for so long have sacrificed more than should be asked of them."

“Today, we congratulate plaintiff Edie Windsor, her incredible legal team, and all those who have stood up for the freedom to marry in America. This victory is especially sweet for our nation’s lesbian, gay, and bisexual service members, who can now not only serve openly, but can serve knowing that their loving, committed, and legal marriages will be recognized by the military they serve and the nation they protect,” said Army veteran and OutServe­SLDN Executive Director Allyson Robinson.

GetEQUAL -- a national LGBT social justice organization -- issued the following statement about this morning's Supreme Court rulings on Proposition 8 (dismissed due to lack of standing 5-4) and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA struck down 5-4 as unconstitutional):

"We're happy today because our community finally has secured the right to marry in 13 states and Washington, DC. But we know that partial freedom is not freedom -- we must not leave behind our sisters and brothers who are not fully equal at marriage counters across the country. Our work is far from over -- not simply in our struggle for marriage equality in all 50 states, but also in employment, immigration, housing, credit, public accommodations, and so many other ways. Today we celebrate, but we are getting right back to work."

From Courage  Campaign:  "Just now, the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as unconstitutional. That means loving, committed, legally married same-sex couples across our nation will have every federal right they deserve -- including military benefits, Social Security, taxation, and more. This is a huge win for the LGBT equality movement. But our federal government is notoriously slow to implement huge changes like this--bureaucrats slow things down. Many couples can't wait for critical benefits when it comes to issues like immigration, and that's where you come in."

"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 equality -- when our nation once again moved closer to recognizing and celebrating all LGBT Americans for their contributions to our great country." 

About All Out:  "We encourage gays and lesbians in the U.S. to remember their brothers and sisters around the world. We must not rest until everyone is treated equally regardless of where they live. While marriage for gays and lesbians will be a reality once again in California, the law is still a complicated mess for gays and lesbians in the United States,” said Andre Banks Executive Director of All Out. “Gay Americans have on again off again protections depending on where they live, and where they travel. This is unacceptable, and un-American. We will continue to fight until the freedom to marry is available in 50 states and every country around the world.”