The following statement comes from ACLU of Washington executive director Kathleen Taylor:
Today is a great day for everyone who treasures our country’s basic values of freedom and fairness. The U.S. Supreme Court recognized, as have so many Americans, that all loving, committed couples must be treated equally under law. Now, in the eyes of the federal government, there are no longer any second-class marriages.
Washington voters ensured equality for same-sex families under state law by passing R-74 last fall. The demise of the Defense of Marriage Act ensures all married couples in our state will have the same benefits under federal law.
There are more than 1100 places in federal laws and programs where being married makes a difference – from eligibility for family medical leave to access to health care for a spouse to Social Security survivor’s benefits, to the ability of your spouse to have the right to your joint estate without it being taxed.
There is still more work to be done to make full equality a reality nationwide. The ACLU has announced it is committing a fund of $10 million to end barriers to marriage equality in all states, coast to coast.