SHAHEEN STATEMENT ON SUPREME COURT DECLARING DOMA UNCONSTITUTIONAL

Court Also Declines to Rule on California’s Proposition 8, Resulting in Reinstatement of Same-Sex Marriage

June 26, 2013

(Washington, DC) –U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) released the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s decision in U.S. v. Windsor, a landmark challenge to Section 3 of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, also known as DOMA, and the Court’s decision to dismiss Hollingsworth v. Perry, a challenge to the constitutionality of California’s ban on same-sex marriage: 

“The Supreme Court’s actions this morning are a victory for the belief that all Americans are created equal. Today the court sided with freedom over discrimination and for a countless number of couples, the Court’s decision to strike down DOMA represents a historic step toward full and equal treatment under the law.  This is a particularly great moment for many children of same-sex couples, including so many who I consider to be great friends; from this day forward these children will live in a country that treats their parents as the equal citizens they are. 

“While the significance of this progress can’t be underestimated, that doesn’t mean we’ve won the fight for marriage equality.  The Court’s move to dismiss the Proposition 8 case is great news for same-sex couples in California but ultimately, all Americans deserve the freedom to marry the person they love.

“Moving forward, the Veterans Administration and the Pentagon must carry through on the Court’s decision in US v. Windsor by immediately ending discrimination against same-sex couples in our military because every individual who serves in uniform deserves the same benefits as their fellow soldiers.  I introduced the Charlie Morgan Act earlier this year so that no spouse, child or family is denied benefits they have earned and deserve and I’ll continue to work toward achieving that goal.

“This day would only be better if Charlie Morgan were here to witness these historic rulings and the progress they represent. In her honor and for many others, however, I’ll continue to work toward addressing injustice and ending discrimination for all LGBT Americans.”

Today Shaheen is also sending letters to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki requesting clarification on whether or not the Charlie Morgan legislation needs to be further pursued.

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