On Wednesday, the Supreme Court issued two decisions. The first one struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a federal law that does not recognize same-sex marriages, ruling it as unconstitutional.
In the second, the court did not rule on whether a California state law prohibiting same-sex marriage was unconstitutional but left in play a lower court's decision that says it is.
But here in Virginia, the rulings may have little effect, and state legislators are voicing their opinions.
Sixth District Congressman Bob Goodlatte came out in opposition to the Supreme Court rulings Wednesday.
In a statement, he said, "I firmly believe that preserving the institution of traditional marriage is crucial to the stability of our society."
He went to on say in a statement, "Today's decision is certainly a setback for the traditional values that make up the backbone of our country."
The Virginia gubernatorial candidates are on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to the Supreme Court's same-sex union rulings.
Republican candidate Ken Cuccinelli's campaign issued an opposition statement, saying he will "continue to defend the will of the people of Virginia, an overwhelming majority of whom voted to protect the definition of traditional marriage under Virginia's constitution."
On the opposite side, Democratic candidate Terry McAullife said, "I understand that this is an issue that Virginians of good will come down on both sides of. This decision moves our nation in the right direction, but there is more to be done to ensure we have equality for all."
To read other legislators' reactions to the Supreme Court rulings, see below:
Cuccinelli for Governor
Springfield, Va. – The Ken Cuccinelli for Governor campaign released the following statement regarding today's Supreme Court rulings:
"Ken Cuccinelli has always believed that marriage should be between a man and a woman. Going forward, he will continue to defend the will of the people of Virginia, an overwhelming majority of whom voted to protect the definition of traditional marriage under Virginia's Constitution. Ken's consistency and clarity on this matter stands in stark contrast to Terry McAuliffe who is eager to attack the attorney general without taking a position himself. Trying to pin down Terry McAuliffe on this issue—just like so many other issues—is like trying to nail Jell-O to a wall." - Dave Rexrode, Campaign Manager.
Senator Tim Kaine
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tim Kaine today released the following statement following the outcomes ofHollingsworth v. Perry and United States v. Windsor at the U.S. Supreme Court:
"Today's Supreme Court decisions are an enormous victory for thousands of committed couples and their families across the country and a major step toward marriage equality. In ruling the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, the Court has affirmed the principle that every legally married couple has the same right to equal benefits and responsibilities. I stand with same-sex couples and their loved ones in applauding the decision to affirm the equal treatment of all married couples under the law."
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bob Goodlatte released this statement following the Supreme Court's 5-4 ruling in the case of United States v. Windsor. Today's decision struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which passed Congress and was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on September 21, 1996. This law had defined marriage for federal statutory purposes as a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife. Although this legislation allowed states to refuse recognition of same-sex marriages from other states, it did not prohibit states from recognizing same-sex marriages within their borders.
The Supreme Court decision requires that federal law, including federal benefits programs, now recognize same-sex marriages that are valid within the states that allow same-sex marriages.
Congressman Goodlatte: "I firmly believe that preserving the institution of traditional marriage is crucial to the stability of our society and serves the best interest of American families. I am disappointed and troubled that the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, which overwhelmingly passed the House and the Senate in 1996 and was signed into law by President Clinton. Today's decision is certainly a setback for the traditional values that make up the backbone of our country."
Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe released the following statement in response to the Supreme Court's decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act:
"I applaud the Supreme Court for their decision today because everyone should be treated equally. While I support marriage equality, I understand that this is an issue that Virginians of goodwill come down on both sides of. This decision moves our nation in the right direction, but there is more to be done to ensure we have equality for all.
"My opponent has spent his career putting up walls around Virginia and telling gay Virginians that they're not welcome. He even went so far as to order public colleges and universities to remove protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation for faculty and students. We must make Virginia the best place in the world to live, work, and raise a family, and there is no place in our future for intolerance or discriminatory rhetoric."
Democratic Party of Virginia
RICHMOND -- Today, the United States Supreme Court ruled the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. The Democratic Party of Virginia Chair Delegate Charniele Herring released the following statement:
"I'm pleased with today's decision," said DPVA Chair Delegate Charniele Herring. "DOMA was truly an unjust law that contradicted the American belief that all people are created equal.
"I am hopeful that the Court's decision will continue the great progress we've made toward fairness and that we continue to expand equal rights and opportunities for all Americans."
Richmond, VA – Today state Senator and candidate for Lt. Governor Ralph Northam released the following statement on the Supreme Court's ruling to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA):
"I applaud the Supreme Court for ruling in favor of marriage equality and for seeing the Defense of Marriage Act for what it is: a divisive policy that unjustly discriminates against millions of Americans. I am running to put a stop to the divisive agenda that has been a roadblock to progress here in Virginia, and as Lieutenant Governor I will work to further the cause of equality because discrimination has no place in our Commonwealth."
Mark Herring for Attorney General
Democratic nominee for Attorney General, State Senator Mark Herring, issued the following statement today following the decision of the United States Supreme Court to strike down the Defense Of Marriage Act (DOMA):
"This is a historic day and I am pleased by the Supreme Court's ruling. Today's decision moves us closer to a more equal and inclusive society. All Americans deserve equal protection under the law, regardless of their race, gender, religion or sexual orientation.
"Unfortunately, Mark Obenshain continues to oppose marriage equality and has consistently opposed efforts to end discrimination based on sexual orientation in our state government. When it comes to equality, Mark Obenshain, like his ticket mates Ken Cuccinelli and E.W. Jackson, is far outside the mainstream.
"As Attorney General, I will protect the civil rights of all Virginians and use the powers of the office to promote equality while we work to change Virginia's current law which prohibits same-sex marriage."