Here’s what President Barack Obama, Gov. Pat McCrory, clergy and the presidential candidates had to say Friday.
▪ “Our nation was founded on a bedrock principle that we are all created equal. The project of each generation is to bridge the meaning of those founding words with the realities of changing times. Progress on this journey often comes in small increments, sometimes two steps forward, one step back, propelled by the persistent effort of dedicated citizens. And then sometimes, there are days like this when that slow, steady effort is rewarded with justice that arrives like a thunderbolt.”
– President Barack Obama
▪ “Like many North Carolinians, I still believe the definition of marriage should be determined by the states and it should be the union between one man and one woman. However, I took an oath to uphold the constitution which compels me as governor to ensure that North Carolina upholds the rule of law.”
– North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory.
▪ “Couples across America may now wed and have their marriage recognized and respected no matter what state they call home. No other person will learn at the most painful moment of married life, the death of a spouse, that their lawful marriage will be disregarded by the state. No married couple who moves will suddenly become two single persons because their new state ignores their lawful marriage.”
–Jim Obergefell, one of the plaintiffs in the cases decided Friday.
▪ “As North Carolina Baptists, we continue to believe and affirm that God's biblical design for marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. Even before today’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, we know that there are those who may disagree with us about how marriage is defined. As followers of Jesus Christ, we remain committed to God’s Word and a biblical view of marriage. At the same time, Jesus instructed us to love and minister to everyone in a spirit of grace and truth, including those who may disagree with us on this issue and on other issues, as well.”
– Milton Hollifield Jr., executive director-treasurer of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.
▪ “Over a decade we've been fighting for equality, not just for ourselves but for a ton of our friends and family. I am extremely happy that our friends and family (members), no matter where they live, have the right to share their lives with someone else.”
– Joey Hewell, who married his partner Scott Lindsley in Mecklenburg County last year.
▪ “We have seen ... this Supreme Court seek to redefine an institution that has been around (as long as) human civilization. That’s just a haughty move for 5 justices, 5 lawyers, to make for this nation.”
– The Rev. Mark Harris, pastor of First Baptist Church of Charlotte and leader of the 2012 campaign for Amendment One, which affirmed the state’s then-ban on same-sex marriage.
▪ “To know our civil rights can be guaranteed across these 50 states is no small measure.”
– The Rev. Robin Tanner, pastor of Piedmont Unitarian Universalist Church. She’s a lesbian who married her partner last year and has married same-sex couples who attend her church.
▪ “All human beings are created equal by God and thus deserve to be treated with love, dignity and respect. I am, however, disappointed that the Supreme Court disregarded the democratically-enacted will of millions of Americans by forcing states to redefine the institution of marriage. My views are based on my upbringing and my faith. I believe that marriage is a sacred vow between one man and one woman, and I believe Americans should be able to live and work according to their belief.”
– House Speaker John Boehner.
Presidential candidates react
▪ “Proud to celebrate a historic victory for marriage equality—& the courage & determination of LGBT Americans who made it possible.”
– Tweet by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D).
▪ “Today, the Supreme Court affirmed that marriage is a human right – not a state right. The American Dream is strongest when all are included.”
– Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D).
▪ “This decision is a victory for same-sex couples across our country as well as all those seeking to live in a nation where every citizen is afforded equal rights. For far too long our justice system has marginalized the gay community and I am very glad the Court has finally caught up to the American people.”
– U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vt.
▪ “In a country as diverse as ours, good people who have opposing views should be able to live side by side. It is now crucial that as a country we protect religious freedom and the right of conscience and also not discriminate.”
– Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R).
▪ “I am disappointed the Supreme Court today chose to change the centuries-old definition of marriage as between one man and one woman. I’m a firm believer in traditional marriage, and I also believe the 10th Amendment leaves it to each state to decide this issue. Our founding fathers did not intend for the judicial branch to legislate from the bench, and as president, I would appoint strict cnstitutional conservatives who will apply the law as written.”
– Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R).
▪ “Today, five unelected justices decided to redefine the foundational unit that binds together our society without public debate or input. Now is the people's opportunity to respond because the future of the institution of marriage is too important to not have a public debate. The Court is one of three co-equal branches of government and, just as they have in cases from Dred Scott to Plessy, the court has an imperfect track record. The stakes are too high and the issue too important to simply cede the will of the people to five unaccountable justices.”
– Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum (R)
▪ “(The decision) will pave the way for an all out assault against the religious freedom rights of Christians who disagree with this decision.”
– Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana (R).
▪ “I will not acquiesce to an imperial court any more than our founders acquiesced to an imperial British monarch. We must resist and reject judicial tyranny, not retreat.”
– Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R).
▪ “As a result of this decision, the only alternative left for the American people is to support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to reaffirm the ability of the states to continue to define marriage.”
– Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R)
▪ “(I’m) a proud defender of traditional marriage.”
– South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham (R).
▪ “This is only the latest example of an activist court ignoring its constitutional duty to say what the law is and not what the law should be.”
– Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina (R).
▪ “While I strongly disagree with the Supreme Court's decision, their ruling is now the law of the land.”
– Former neurosurgeon Ben Carson (R).
▪ “This decision short-circuits the political process that has been underway on the state level for years. While I disagree with this decision, we live in a republic and must abide by the law. As we look ahead, it must be a priority of the next president to nominate judges and justices committed to applying the Constitution as written and originally understood.”
– Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (R)
▪ “I agree with Chief Justice (John) Roberts, that this is something that should be decided by the people and not by ... five lawyers.”
– New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.