The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that a 1996 law denying federal benefits to same-sex married couples is unconstitutional. The 5-4 decision was handed down by Justice Anthony M. Kennedy. Sen. Bernie Sanders welcomed the ruling. “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.