By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
“Equality is affirmed as an American value,” read the tweet from mayoral frontrunner Anthony Weiner on Twitter after the US Supreme Court issued two rulings in favor of same-sex marriage.
Weiner, the former Brooklyn-Queens congressman who vaulted to the top of the polls in the mayor’s race this week, wasn’t the only candidate who took to twitter to announce an opinion on the high court’s June 26 rulings against the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8. In the latter case, the justices declined to rule, meaning that a decision by a lower court that had ruled in favor of same-sex marriage stood.
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, a former Park Slope councilman, had this to say on twitter: “Gov't should never stand btw the love of 2 people.” He also called the decision an “historic day.”
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, a lesbian who married her female partner last year, issued a tweet as soon as the court’s ruling became known. “The history of our nation has been a strong and steady march towards light, equality, and justice for all," she wrote.
Comptroller John Liu paid tribute to Edie Windsor, the elderly New York woman who brought the case against DOMA all the way to the nation’s highest court. “Kudos to Edie Windsor to standing up for what's right. No more second class marriage. Our country more perfect union today,” Liu tweeted.
Not everyone tweeted his or her thoughts on the historic day in the Supreme Court.
Former Bay Ridge city councilman Sal Albanese issued a statement. "It's an historic day for equal rights in America! DOMA and Prop 8 were roadblocks on the long march toward equal rights for all Americans. By declaring those laws unconstitutional, the Supreme Court affirmed what New Yorkers have known for years: we are all equal, and the government has no business suggesting otherwise,” he stated.
Albanese also stated that he had cast the swing vote in favor of New York City's first gay rights bill in 1986.” It guided legislators when New York State finally passed marriage equality. And I hope it will continue guiding judges and lawmakers across the nation,” he said.
The rulings were largely hailed by elected officials.
US Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-Brooklyn-Manhattan), who serves on the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice, is the author of the Respect for Marriage Act, the bill to repeal DOMA. “This is a tremendous victory for Edie Windsor and for this nation,” Nadler said.
“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. For my constituent and neighbor, Edie Windsor, money that she was forced to pay in estate tax following the death of her beloved wife, Thea Spyer, will be returned, helping to ensure that Edie has the resources she needs,” Nadler said.
US Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-Sunset Park) called the court action “another important milestone on our nation’s journey toward becoming a more perfect union.”
The rulings will have an important practical benefit, according to Velazquez. “From a practical level, gay and lesbian couples who have been married in New York will no longer be denied benefits under tax law, from their military service or be treated differently under federal immigration law,” she said.
New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman called the development an “historic victory for the principle of equal justice under the law.”