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Reaction to court ruling on marriage provision

Wednesday - 6/26/2013, 3:10pm  ET

The Associated Press

Reaction to the Supreme Court's decisions Wednesday in two gay marriage cases:

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"The laws of our land are catching up to the fundamental truth that millions of Americans hold in our hearts: when all Americans are treated as equal, no matter who they are or whom they love, we are all more free." -- President Barack Obama.

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"While I am obviously disappointed in the ruling, it is always critical that we protect our system of checks and balances. A robust national debate over marriage will continue in the public square, and it is my hope that states will define marriage as the union between one man and one woman." -- House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.

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"The Supreme Court's decision affirms that all couples, regardless of their sexual orientation, deserve the same rights and opportunities under the law that my wife and I enjoy. The Defense of Marriage Act was a discriminatory law that unfairly treated LGBT couples differently, and has rightly been relegated to the dust bin of history." -- Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo.

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"We are devastated that the Supreme Court succumbed to political pressure by voting to weaken the sacred institution. They neglected our most precious children who need a mother and a father united in marriage for healthy development." -- Rev. William Owens, president of Coalition of African-American Pastors.

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"At long last, the legal marriages of countless gay and lesbian couples will be afforded the same federal recognition and protections as any other. Today is a cornerstone for justice and equality-- when our nation once again moved closer to recognizing and celebrating all LGBT Americans for their contributions to our great country." -- GLAAD spokesperson Wilson Cruz.

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"While we are disappointed in the Supreme Court's decision to strike down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, the court today did not impose the sweeping nationwide redefinition of natural marriage that was sought. Time is not on the side of those seeking to create same-sex 'marriage.' As the American people are given time to experience the actual consequences of redefining marriage, the public debate and opposition to the redefinition of natural marriage will undoubtedly intensify." -- Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.

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"This is a watershed moment for equality and a clear statement from the highest court in the land that discrimination and hatred have no place in a country founded on the principles of liberty, justice and equality." -- Rick Jacobs, chair of the California-based CourageCampaign.org.

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"At the heart of the gay marriage argument is an untruth: unions of two men or women are not the same as unions of husband and wife. The law cannot make it so, it can only require us to paint pretty pictures to cover up deep truths embedded in human nature." -- Maggie Gallagher, fellow at the American Principles Project and co-founder of the National Organization for Marriage.

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"Today's ruling affirms what we stand for as Americans -- the guarantee that every person and every family is given equal respect under the law. It means that married same-sex couples can participate fully in federal programs that provide much-needed security for American families. -- Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y.

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"We are deeply saddened by today's decision to not only allow but encourage same-sex marriage in our country-- a country that was founded on biblical principles. We mourn for America's future, but we are not without hope." --Tim Wildmon, president of American Family Association.

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"Marriage is the true foundation for strong families. Every loving, committed couple deserves the basic human right to get married, start a family, and be treated equally under the law. No politician from this day forward should try to stand in the way of this fact." --Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.

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"The House defended this law, which passed with a large bipartisan coalition and was signed by President Clinton, because courts should determine the constitutionality of laws, not presidents. I'm disappointed in this decision, and the marriage debate will continue in the states." -- House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va.

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"The Supreme Court bent the arc of history once again toward justice. The court placed itself on the right side of history by discarding Section 3 of the defenseless Defense of Marriage Act and by allowing marriage equality for all families in California. The highest court in the land reaffirmed the promise inscribed into its walls: 'equal justice under law.'" -- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

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