Congressman Bob Goodlatte released this statement following the Supreme Court's 5-4 ruling in the case of United States v. Windsor. Today's decision struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which passed Congress and was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on September 21, 1996. This law had defined marriage for federal statutory purposes as a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife. Although this legislation allowed states to refuse recognition of same-sex marriages from other states, it did not prohibit states from recognizing same-sex marriages within their borders.
The Supreme Court decision requires that federal law, including federal benefits programs, now recognize same-sex marriages that are valid within the states that allow same-sex marriages.
Congressman Goodlatte: "I firmly believe that preserving the institution of traditional marriage is crucial to the stability of our society and serves the best interest of American families. I am disappointed and troubled that the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, which overwhelmingly passed the House and the Senate in 1996 and was signed into law by President Clinton. Today's decision is certainly a setback for the traditional values that make up the backbone of our country."