BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Local, state and national leaders are releasing statements Wednesday after the Supreme Court decisions were announced. Scroll down to see statements from different leaders.
Governor Andrew Cuomo:
"Today's decisions by the Court are groundbreaking civil rights victories for the LGBT community and a major step forward in our efforts to achieve full marriage equality in this nation.
Two years ago, New York became the largest state to enact marriage equality, and since then we have seen a growing recognition across the country that all citizens deserve equal rights under the law, regardless of sexual orientation.
From the Stonewall Riots 44 years ago this week, to the passage of marriage equality in New York, to today's decision to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act that originated from a case brought by a New York resident, this state has been at the forefront of this movement.
It is my hope that today's breakthrough decisions will propel our nation forward and finally allow all Americans to be granted the same rights and protections under the law."
NYS Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli:
"The Supreme Court's decision to strike down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act corrects a grievous wrong that unjustly enshrined discrimination in our nation's laws. In New York State, we celebrate that everyone has the right to marry whomever we so choose.
For those who have sacrificed and suffered to ensure that this day came to pass, I commend your perseverance. Each one of us deserves equal respect and equal protection under the law."
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand:
"Today is a historic day for our country on its long march towards upholding the fundamental values this country was founded upon of fairness, equality and justice. I am overjoyed the Supreme Court has ruled to end the discrimination that had been enshrined into U.S. law.
"Marriage is the true foundation for strong families. Every loving, committed couple deserves the basic human right to get married, start a family, and be treated equally under the law. No politician from this day forward should try to stand in the way of this fact.
"Now that the Supreme Court has ruled DOMA is unconstitutional, Congress must do its job and get this corrosive law off the books so there is certainty for all loving committed couples across state lines. I promise to work hard to pass the Respect for Marriage Act and finally put the discriminatory DOMA policy into the dustbin of history where it belongs."
Congressman Brian Higgins:
"In its decision to rule DOMA unconstitutional, the Supreme Court recognized what New Yorkers already know: that a family is a family and, regardless of the gender of its spouses, it deserves equal protection under the law. This decision rightly acknowledges that all couples who are legally married deserve the same federal recognitions and rights.
"Our nation was founded on the basic values of freedom and equality and we must stand by these core principles. Today marks an important step forward in the fight for marriage equality. I look forward to legislatively repealing DOMA in its entirety as a cosponsor, along with 100 of my colleagues in Congress, of Congressman Jerry Nadler's Respect for Marriage Act.
"And while I would have preferred the Court to overturn California's Proposition 8, by declining to decide the case the Court allows same-sex marriages to resume in California. The effect will be to secure marriage equality in the most populous state in our union. I am proud that New York is one of 12 -- now 13 -- states with marriage equality and look forward to the day when Americans in all 50 states have the right to marry the individual they love, regardless of gender."
Democratic Chairman Jeremy Zellner:
"The decision by the United States Supreme Court to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act is good news for all Americans. LGBT couples are entitled to equality under the law and I am proud to lead an organization, the Erie County Democratic Committee that believes this to be true. I am even prouder to have worked so closely with the Stonewall Democrats of WNY, and applaud their amazing leadership and their tireless fight for equality."
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