Public figures, organizations react to Supreme Court decisions on gay marriage
Scott Applewhite, Associated Press
Following Wednesday's release of the Supreme Court's decisions on the Defense of Marriage Act and California's Proposistion 8, which are viewed as victories for proponents of gay marriage, public figures and organizations weighed in with their reactions.
Individuals and groups in favor of gay marriage were quick to celebrate the court's decisions. In the minutes and hours following the annoucements, reactions from those opposed to gay marriage were harder to come by.
"I have long believed that marriage is a states rights issue, said Governor Gary R. Herbert. I support and will continue to defend Utah's constitutional definition of marriage as the legal union between a man and a woman. I also believe that discrimination has no place in society. I hope we can find a path that protects all from discrimination while defending the sanctity of traditional marriage."
"In a nutshell, DOMA will not affect us," said John Swallow, Utah's attorney general, on KSL's Grant and Amanda show Wednesday morning.
California did not defend its own law regarding marriage between a man and a woman, so the decision to go with the original district court order was "not surprising."
He said the Attorney General's office will look over the Supreme Court Justices' decisions for guidance of how to proceed in the future. He said Utah will "vigorously" defend the third Amendment of the state Constitution, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman.
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, said he was disappointed in the Supreme Court's decision regarding the Defense of Marriage Act and argued that if the American people have changed their minds about the policy, then Congress, not the courts should adjust it.
"Marriage is, and always will be, the basic unit of human community and civilization. And we have thousands of years worth of compelling reasons to protect it in law," Lee said. "Traditional marriage is not a threat to freedom and equality, but a bulwark of them. Today's decisions leaves to the states to determine their own legal definition. This is as it should be under the Constitution. States needn't agree on the definition of marriage in order to respect each other's right to legislate on that question."
Rep. Rob Bishop echoed Lee's disappointment, saying the court appears to have created additional complexities and unanswered questions with the way the cases were handled.
"As some activists and courts continue to chip away at traditional marriage, I hope that going forward the role of the states and protections of religious liberty are not diminished as well, Bishop said.
Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love, who announced in May that she would be challenging Rep. Jim Matheson for his 4th District seat in the next election, released a statement saying she was "very disappointed" by the decisions.
"For five justices to virtually overturn the vote of millions of Californians is indefensible," Love said. "For a bare majority of the court to invalidate the Defense of Marriage Act, passed by a Republican Congress and signed by a Democrat president is, in the words of Justice Scalia, simply 'wrong.'"
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