'A historic day for equal rights in our nation and state'

Members of Washington state’s congressional delegation issued the following statements on the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling overturning the Defense of Marriage Act and extending federal benefits to same-sex married couples, including benefits related to income taxes and Social Security.

Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Bremerton:
“I’m proud to hail from a state that stood up and said yes to marriage equality. I don’t believe the pursuit of happiness or the ability to start a family with the person you love should end at our state’s borders. I’m glad today’s ruling will begin to end this era of discrimination. I’ll continue to fight to ensure our entire nation is a place where every family is given the respect and recognition it’s entitled to.”

One of the first bills Kilmer sponsored when he joined the House was a bill to recognize marriage equality at the federal level. A member of the House Armed Services Committee, he immediately called on the Department of Defense to implement reforms to ensure same sex couples receive the benefits of marriage equality.

Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash.:
“This is U.S. and in Washington state. Our state was a trailblazer in recognizing the right of same-sex couples to marry and helped in setting the stage for this historic ruling. All Washingtonians will receive the equal treatment they deserve in the eyes of federal law for the first time. Our state’s same-sex married couples will now get the same federal benefits and recognition as heterosexual couples.

“I was proud to join my colleagues in signing an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to declare the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. I am pleased that the Supreme Court acknowledged this fundamental right.”

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash.: 
“Today is a day of joy for all of the loving, committed LGBT couples across America, including the more than 2,400 couples who married in my home state of Washington this year, and for all of us who respect and support them. Thanks to the LGBT and allied communities’ commitment to achieving equality, today’s ruling is a true demonstration that the tide is turning, and it is turning rapidly across the country.

“This is a great day for the civil rights and marriage equality movement. Following this good news, I’m going to work with the administration and my colleagues in Congress to ensure that all the rights and federal benefits enjoyed by married couples are provided to LGBT couples as quickly as possible, including to unite bi-national LGBT couples who have been split apart by this discriminatory law.

“While there is much to celebrate today, the fight is not over and I will continue working until who a person loves or where they live no longer determines their eligibility for the federal protections and responsibilities other married couples enjoy.”

State officials issuing statements about the ruling include Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson:

“Today is a great day for marriage equality both in Washington state and across the country. This ruling is vitally important to the people of Washington. Now that Washington voters have approved same-sex marriage, couples in our state could have found themselves in similar situations — being denied federal benefits provided to other couples. It was important that Washington’s voice be heard in this case.”


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