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Congressman Engel Lauds Supreme Court Ruling on Same-Sex Marriage

Congressman Engel Lauds Supreme Court Ruling on Same-Sex Marriage

WASHINGTON, DC—Congressman Eliot Engel, a senior member of the New York Congressional Delegation, said that, for the second straight day, the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of justice, fairness, and progress by legalizing gay marriage nationwide.

“Today is a great day, and a historic one,” Congressman Engel said. “The Supreme Court has recognized the equal rights and equal dignity of same-sex couples across the country. LGBT equality is one of the defining civil rights issues of our time, and we’ve endured many years of legal and social struggle to guarantee today’s recognition of the love and commitment of our LGBT friends, family, and neighbors. This morning’s decision is a tremendous step forward for us as a nation.”

In a 5-4 decision, the Justices held in Obergefell v. Hodges that the U.S. Constitution protects the right of same sex couples to marry in all 50 states, a watershed moment in our country’s protracted fight to ensure full legal protection for same-sex couples. “No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family,” the Court said. “It would misunderstand these men and women to say that they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”

“From my first years in Congress,” Engel said, “voting against the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 1996, I have fought to protect the equal rights of LGBT Americans. There is still work left to do, but for today our country is unified under the banner of love, acceptance, and equality.”

In addition to today’s decision in Obergefell, Thursday the Supreme Court dismissed a frivolous challenge to the Affordable Care Act, protecting subsidies for millions of consumers on that law’s network of health insurance exchanges.