U.S. Rep. Ron Barber today issued the following statement on the U.S. Supreme Court's rulings on the Defense of Marriage Act and California's Proposition 8:
Today is a historic day: Two U.S. Supreme Court decisions emphasize one of the values that make our country truly great.
Throughout our history, and often at great personal risk, we have fought to ensure equal rights for every American. From our founders' declaration that all men are created equal to the Civil Rights Act -- each generation has provided leaders who have put everything on the line to protect more Americans from discrimination.
The Defense of Marriage Act was a step in the wrong direction. If people want to make a lifelong commitment to one another, they should be able to have the same rights and responsibilities that my wife and I have shared during our 46 years of marriage.
People who love each other and want to make a commitment to legally form a family should not be denied that right. There is no greater sign of respect for the right of all individuals to personal freedom, than to allow committed couples to be recognized as such under the law.