WHAT THEY SAID
The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down as unconstitutional a key part of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that denies federal benefits to same-sex couples who are legally married in the states where they live.
The 5-4 decision did not take up the question of whether there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage.
Elected leaders and others weighed in Wednesday in response to the decision:
"The ruling is great news for Americans and a day to celebrate. I have been a supporter of marriage equality from day one."
Key West Mayor Craig Cates
"I am proud to say that I joined many of my colleagues in Congress to sign an amicus brief against DOMA. But by no means does the fight for marriage equality end today. Today is just the tipping point."
U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia,
"The sweeping language of today's majority opinion is more troubling than the ruling itself as it points to further interference by the Court in the years to come. [Issues like same sex marriage] should be settled through the democratic process, as the Founders intended, not through litigation and court pronouncements."
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio,
"'You did it, honey.' "
Case plaintiff Edith Windsor
On what she would tell late partner now
"I applaud the Supreme Court's decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act. This was discrimination enshrined in law. It treated loving, committed gay and lesbian couples as a separate and lesser class of people. The Supreme Court has righted that wrong, and our country is better off for it. We are a people who declared that we are all created equal -- and the love we commit to one another must be equal as well."
President Barack Obama
"A robust national debate over marriage will continue in the public square, and it is my hope that states will define marriage as the union between one man and one woman."
House Speaker John A. Boehner
"This is a rallying cry to start the process of gathering support throughout the state to work on amending our (state) Constitution."
Key West city commissioner
"DOMA instructs all federal officials, and indeed all persons with whom same-sex couples interact, including their own children, that their marriage is less worthy than the marriages of others. The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and to injure those whom the state, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity."
Justice Anthony Kennedy
"In the majority's telling, this story is black and white: hate your neighbor or come along with us. It is hard to admit that one's political opponents are not monsters, especially in a struggle like this one, and the challenge in the end proves more than today's court can handle."
Justice Antonin Scalia
"Today, the Supreme Court bent the arc of history once again toward justice. The court placed itself on the right side of history by discarding Section 3 of the defenseless Defense of Marriage Act and by allowing marriage equality for all families in California."
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi
"We may in the future have to resolve challenges to state marriage definitions affecting same-sex couples. That issue, however, is not before us in this case."
Justice John G. Roberts