“For millions of Americans, the definition of marriage is not an abstract political question, or some remote legal debate. It’s a deeply personal issue. It’s an issue that I have grappled with as well.
“I believe that marriage is a unique historical institution best defined as the union between one man and one woman. In the U.S., marriage has traditionally been defined by state law, and I believe each state, acting through their elected representatives or the ballot, should decide their own definition of marriage. For the purposes of federal law, however, Congress had every right to adopt a uniform definition and I regret that the Supreme Court would interfere with that determination.
“I appreciate that many Americans’ attitude towards same-sex marriage have changed in recent years. I respect the rights of states to allow same-sex marriages, even though I disagree with them. But I also expect that the decisions made by states like Florida to define marriage as between one man and one woman will also be respected.
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“I do not believe there exists a federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage. Therefore, I am glad the Supreme Court did not create one in the Proposition 8 case.
“Rather than having courts redefine marriage for all Americans, my hope is that the American people, through their state legislatures and referendums, can continue to decide the definition of marriage. It is through debates like this that the brilliance of our constitutional system of democracy, and the inherit goodness of our people, is revealed.
“My hope is that those of us who believe in the sanctity and uniqueness of traditional marriage will continue to argue for its protection in a way that is respectful to the millions of American sons and daughters who are gay. It is also my hope that those who argue for the redefinition of marriage to include same-sex marriage will refrain from assailing the millions of Americans who disagree with them as bigots.”
From U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, a Miami Democrat who represents part of South Broward:
“Today’s rulings represent a victory for liberty, equality, and family. These decisions bring our nation one step closer to realizing the promise inherent in our Constitution.
“As a veteran of the Civil Rights Movement, I feel a personal connection to today’s ruling. LGBT rights are civil rights.
“In California, thousands of same-sex couples and their children will now enjoy the recognition and legal protection they so richly deserve. In states throughout the nation, gay and lesbian couples will finally enjoy the federal rights and benefits to which they are entitled. This is a great day for our democracy.
“But, the fight for equality for LGBT Americans continues. A majority of states, including my home state of Florida, do not recognize the fundamental rights of same-sex couples. In solidarity with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans, I stand ready to continue the fight for fairness. It’s time for all states as well as the federal government to clearly and unequivocally guarantee the equal rights of every person under the law.”
From state Rep. Jared Moskowitz, D-Coral Springs:
“Today, five U.S. Supreme Court justices have told the American people what we’ve known all along: the Defense of Marriage Act that has defined marriage as solely between a man and a woman is unconstitutional because it is a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons who are protected by the 5th Amendment.
“I wish the Supreme Court had gone even further to invalidate all bans on gay marriage, such as the one that exists in Florida. I call upon my colleagues in the Legislature to not wait for the next court ruling to make Florida a more equitable and just state.
“History will remember those who opposed the march for LGBT equality. I’m proud to say that I support equality for all citizens regardless of their sexual orientation.”
From U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton:
“Today’s Supreme Court decision represents an enormous step forward in the advancement of equal rights for all Americans. Like so many Americans around the country, I was so pleased to see that today's decision brings us ever closer to full marriage equality. From this day forward, the discrimination codified by the Defense of Marriage Act will no longer deny hundreds of federal rights and protections to same-sex couples legally married in the United States.
"As we applaud this historic victory for civil rights, we must also remember that the struggle for marriage equality continues. Thousands of couples across this country – including in Florida – remain denied the right to marry. We must continue our efforts to ensure that all Americans, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, receive equal protection under the law."