U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand issued the following statement today after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional:
"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."
Earlier today, the Supreme Court ruled legally married same-sex couples should get the same federal benefits as heterosexual couples.
The court invalidated a provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act Wednesday that has prevented married gay couples from receiving a range of tax, health and retirement benefits that are generally available to married people. The vote was 5-4.
Senator Gillibrand, who helped lead the effort in the Senate to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," was an original co-sponsor and leading advocate for the Respect for Marriage Act.