WASHINGTON, June 26 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) welcomed a Supreme Court ruling today striking down a federal law that discriminated against same-sex married couples.
“This is good news for all Americans who believe in the words carved in marble on the front of the Supreme Court building, equal justice under law. But it is a special victory for gays and lesbians married in Vermont and the increasing number of other states that followed our lead in granting same-sex couples the same rights as everyone else,” Sanders said.
Sanders in 1996 was one of only 67 House members who voted against the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, which denied federal benefits to gay spouses. He is a cosponsor of Senate legislation to repeal the law and he joined other members of Congress in a friend-of-the-court brief urging justices to void the discriminatory statute.
Sanders also welcomed a separate ruling that threw out a challenge to a California law legalizing gay marriages in that state. Justices set aside the outcome of a state voter referendum on Proposition 8 that attempted to rescind the state law. The court stopped short of declaring that gay people in all states have a constitutional right to marry.