House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement after the First United States Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional:
"I believe today's decision by the First Circuit Court of Appeals upholding a previous ruling that the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional was correct. By preventing the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages -- even in states where those unions are legal -- DOMA denies these families the same federal rights and benefits available to others. Today's decision is a victory for the basic tenet of equality for all.
"Our nation was founded on the basic idea that all are created equal, and throughout our history we have striven to ensure the equal protection of every American under law. Those struggles were not always easy, and the struggle for marriage equality will require of us the same steadfastness and resolve. I commend all of those who worked to bring this case forward and the many organizations that submitted briefs in support."