Following today's ruling by the United States Supreme Court that the federal Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional and the court's dismissal of California's Prop 8, Governor Maggie Hassan issued the following statement:
"Today, the Supreme Court has affirmed the founding principle of the United States of America that all are created equal. Throughout our history, every time we have sought to include all people in the life of our democracy, we have grown stronger. Encouraging strong marriages for all loving couples strengthens families and communities.
"Now, for the first time, all married couples, no matter their gender, will receive the fair and equal treatment under the law that they so rightly deserve. This will make a real difference in the lives of New Hampshire families who have been denied federal benefits, forced to pay higher taxes, and treated as less than equal.
"The American mission has always been to move forward, to build a brighter future by fully including all of the people in our society. Today's rulings represent a historic step forward in that never-ending mission."
Earlier this year, Governor Hassan announced that New Hampshire joined more than a dozen other states in two amicus briefs to the United States Supreme Court in opposition to DOMA and Prop 8 in order to defend the right to civil marriage for all couples, regardless of sexual orientation.