Same-sex marriage: What they’re saying

Pub date December 7, 2012
WriterTim Redmond
SectionPolitics Blog

Lots of statements getting issued on the Supreme Court’s decision, reflecting both the desire of many elected officials to weigh in on this momentus event and some interesting differences in tone.

Assembly Member Tom Ammiano:


“This doesn’t decide anything on its own, but it opens the door for the U.S. Supreme Court to acknowledge that people in every state of this union should be able to form marriage unions with the partner of their choosing and not be limited by outdated customs and laws.”

“It’s a bit disappointing that the Supreme Court isn’t already kicking Prop. 8 to the curb, but I’m hopeful that they will do that after hearing arguments. We can also hope that this court decides that it’s time to say, once and for all, that denying this right to same-sex couples is just as unconstitutional as denying marriage to mixed-race couples – a decision made decades ago.”

State Sen. Mark Leno:

“I am hopeful and encouraged about today’s decision from the U.S. Supreme Court to review the Proposition 8 case, which is one of the most significant equal rights issues to come before the court in many decades,” said Senator Leno. “For the past four years we have argued that Proposition 8 is not only unconstitutional, but that it also violates the basic principles of respect, dignity and validation that every American deserves. I am confident that the Supreme Court will reaffirm these fundamental freedoms and uphold that a person’s right to be treated equally does not vanish simply because of who they are or whom they love.


“The momentum for marriage equality has never been stronger in our country. We have support from President Obama, recent victories at the ballot box, and polls that show a majority of Americans are with us. In addition, federal courts continue to strike down laws that discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. I am convinced our triumphs will continue.”


Mayor Ed Lee:


“I am optimistic that the Supreme Court will reaffirm, as the Ninth Circuit Court did, that California’s Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.

“We remain as deeply committed today as we were nearly eight years ago when then Mayor Gavin Newsom jumpstarted one of the most important civil rights movements of our generation. I would like to thank City Attorney Dennis Herrera for his work on this important issue and bringing us to this point. I thank the legal team of Ted Olson and David Boies and the American Foundation for Equal Rights for defending equality in this legal pursuit. 

Same-sex marriage is legal, or will soon be, in nine states — Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, Washington — and the District of Columbia. I look forward to the day when California joins this well-respected list.”


Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom:


Today marks the beginning of the end for a California journey that started eight years ago when San Francisco issued same-sex marriage licenses. By agreeing to hear the Proposition 8  case the U.S. Supreme Court could end, once and for all, marriage inequity in California.

Forty-five years after the Supreme Court ruled that marriages between interracial couples were constitutional in Loving vs. Virginia, Justices can once again reaffirm the basic American principal of equality for all.

The singling out a class of Californians for discrimination violates the basic principles of who we are as a nation. It is important at this moment in time to recognize that individuals can be mightier together than apart, that there is strength in our diversity, power when we unite around our shared values and success when we advance together.

 Today’s announcement starts the clock towards the final decision for California. History will one day be divided into the time before marriage equality and the period that follows. And thankfully, we will be on the side of history worthy of being proud of.



Assembly Speaker John Perez:

“Today’s announcement that the Supreme Court will take up Hollingsworth v. Perry and the challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act is a reminder that the pathway to justice is long and difficult. The plaintiffs in the initial challenge to Proposition 8, Perry v. Schwarzenegger, presented a powerful and compelling argument that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional, which was eloquently recognized in Judge Vaughn Walker’s ruling in that case. I am very confident that the Supreme Court will rule in favor of our community in Hollingsworth v. Perry, as it is now known, and affirm that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional. But until that outcome is secured, our community must continue to fight for justice on every front, from working to secure the Employment Non-Discrimination Act to addressing the issues of homelessness among LGBT Youth.”

Rep. Nancy Pelosi:




With the Supreme Court’s decision, marriage equality will finally have its day in the highest court in the land. Americans will hear whether inequality and discrimination are consistent with the high standards and deepest values of our Constitution. We remain confident that the justices’ ruling will fall on the side of civil rights and discard DOMA and Prop 8 in the dustbin of history.

“From the start, Republicans have known that DOMA is unconstitutional, and that’s why Republicans have tried to pass legislation to prohibit judicial review of this disgraceful law. Speaker Boehner’s legal team repeatedly failed to convince the courts to keep denying basic rights to American families, all while wasting nearly $1.5 million in taxpayer funds. Now, the Supreme Court will decide whether Edie Windsor deserved to face a penalty of hundreds of thousands of dollars after her partner of four decades passed away. We believe Ms. Windsor and couples like hers will see justice done in this case.

“By taking up the Prop 8 case, the Supreme Court will have the opportunity to make a strong statement that laws, in California and nationwide, must not target the LGBT community unfairly and that families across our state and our country deserve fair and equal treatment under the law.

“We have now reached a landmark moment in the history of civil rights in our nation. Let’s end discrimination and ensure equality for all of America’s families. Let’s get this over with and on to the future!”


Bay Guardian Controller Sandy Lange:

“Well, at least I don’t have to get married this weekend.”