Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY-16) issued the following statement on the U.S. Supreme Court's decision affirming a lower court decision overturning the California law against same sex marriage. Rep. Engel is a long-time supporter of marriage equality in the United States, and the sponsor of legislation to spotlight the National Day of Silence. He was also one of only 67 House members to vote against the now-defunct Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 1996.
"This is a great day for the residents of California, as our largest state becomes the 12th state to permit marriage equality. Now approximately 30% of Americans live in states which do not discriminate based on who a person loves and chooses to spend their life with. I encourage the other 38 states to follow New York, California and the other 10 states in providing equal rights for all their residents. I believe this ruling is a positive sign for existing marriage equality laws, and for any state looking to follow suit. Between this ruling and the striking down of DOMA, today will be remembered in history as a landmark day for the LGBT community and equality in America."