Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) released the following statement after the Supreme Court ruled on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in the case of United States v. Windsor.
"This is a historic day for equal rights in our nation and in Washington state," said Cantwell. "Our state was a trailblazer in recognizing the right of same-sex couples to marry and helped in setting the stage for this historic ruling. All Washingtonians will receive the equal treatment they deserve in the eyes of federal law for the first time. Our state's same-sex married couples will now get the same federal benefits and recognition as heterosexual couples.
"I was proud to join my colleagues in signing an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to declare the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. I am pleased that the Supreme Court acknowledged this fundamental right."
Cantwell is a long-time supporter of equal rights for all Americans, and equal treatment and access to federal benefits for same-sex couples. She has cosponsored legislation to repeal DOMA. In March, she signed onto an amicus brief filed with the Supreme Court in support of ruling DOMA unconstitutional. Cantwell is cosponsor of bills to prohibit public schools from discriminating against students and to prohibit workplace discrimination because of actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. During 2009, President Barack Obama signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law, which Cantwell helped pass through the Senate (P.L. 111-84).