The Supreme Court today declared that a key section of the Defense of Marriage Act, which restricts federal benefits for gay couples, is unconstitutional. Entertainment industry insiders, including openly gay celebrities, spoke out to The Hollywood Reporter about today’s big decision.
The following are some of their reactions:
Glee, American Horror Story and The New Normal creator Ryan Murphy:
“Today is a historic day made all the more meaningful by the fact that my marriage to my husband, David, will now not only be recognized by my home state of California, but federally as well, as it always should have been. Many have suggested that Hollywood, and particularly television, has helped move the country forward on the issue of marriage equality. If that is true, and my work played even a small part in that, I am humbled and reminded of the power of entertainment to enlighten as well as entertain.”
Singer and Broadway composer Cyndi Lauper:
“History has been made today and justice has prevailed. To all of you who have been waiting on the sidelines for years, for lifetimes, it’s a huge day. I am so, so happy for you.
“The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of loving and committed gay couples, and the so-called Defense of Marriage Act has been ruled unconstitutional. Not only that, but California’s Proposition 8 was struck down, restoring marriage equality to the state of California.
“Both of these decisions not only impact the lives of gay couples, but of gay and transgender youth who struggle to find acceptance from their family and friends. Every step closer we get to equality ensures that these kids have the futures that they deserve and are entitled to.
“Thank you so much to the inspiring plaintiffs, attorneys and everyone across the country who have worked so hard for so many years. Today, we celebrate. Tomorrow, we keep working for full equality for all and to bring the freedom to marry for gay couples to the 37 states that still remain.”
Rocker Melissa Etheridge:
“‘Laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the general progress of the human mind.’ — Thomas Jefferson
“Let’s hear it for the general progress of the human mind. With a beautiful sweep of sweet justice’s blind hand we move forward. We correct the laws made hastily out of fear.
“I look forward to exercising my American civil liberties and getting fully, completely and legally married this year to my true love of over three years, Linda Wallem.
“Once again our constitution stands strong. All men, and women, and everything in between are created equal.”
Oscar-winning Milk screenwriter Dustin Lance Black:
“We stand on the shoulders of so many who gave their hearts, their stories, their names and their lives to see this day realized. I’ll be celebrating them tonight … but tomorrow it’s back to work to ensure our promise of full federal equality applies to all Americans regardless of what state they live in.”
Hollywood power lawyer Steve Warren:
“Today was so rewarding from so many standpoints,” says Warren, who says he couldn’t sleep last night and was up at 5 a.m. awaiting the decision. “Even though it didn’t go the full way, it wound up going so far. It’s such an embracing decision, that gay people are equal people. It’s just a great day. I’ve been getting calls all morning from people in the industry. My speech has had more impact than I would have ever expected. When I saw the decision, I got chills and had tears coming down from my face. It was like, ‘Holy cow, things have changed.’ I know the four plaintiffs. I’m texting them this morning. These are the Rosa Parks. These are the people who go down in history.”
My So-Called Life star Wilson Cruz:
“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.
“The Court also denied standing in Hollingsworth v. Perry, which challenged the constitutionality of California’s anti-gay Proposition 8, or Prop. 8, a statewide ban on marriage equality. The decision will restore marriage equality in California.
“A majority of Americans, and now the highest court in the land, agree that it’s wrong to strip loving and committed gay and lesbian couples of the fundamental opportunity to marry the person you love. Today, we stand in solidarity with millions of Californians, who can finally say ‘I do’ to the person they love.”
Pop icon Madonna:
“What a way to start my day!! I’m wearing a smile from ear to ear. There is a G-D! Justice is served. Hallelujah !!”
Scandal star Guillermo Diaz
“Finally! Everything is as it should be. Today has been an enormous victory for marriage equality. When you have to fight for something it makes you cherish it all that much more.”
Bravo exec and Watch What Happens Live host Andy Cohen:
“I’m just thrilled. I never thought that I would see this day, really, and it’s just a huge victory. I’m a little speechless because it came from the highest court, and it’s huge.”
Precious director Lee Daniels:
“It’s a sad day for the gay men who are trying to save their money. But in all seriousness, this day is as important as the day African-Americans were given the right to vote. I’m proud to be an American.”
Rock of Ages director Adam Shankman:
“I never thought in my lifetime I would see anything like this happen. I had settled into subconsciously believing that I would always be viewed as separate and unequal. I have never felt so grateful, and so happy. I look forward to the rest of my married life with my fiancé, and soon to be husband, Frank Meli.”
Chef Cat Cora:
“My wife and I are overjoyed with emotion and tears of gratitude that this day has finally arrived. Not only will we and our children be treated as equals in this great country, but all gays and lesbians will be rightfully treated with equality as Americans. Our highest court has determined that we are all constitutionally equal, but more importantly, that we are all part of humanity and should be treated with love, respect, and compassion.”
Outfest Executive Director Kirsten Schaffer:
“Last summer, I met [DOMA plaintiff] Edie [Windsor] in person at NewFest [the New York City LGBT film festival] when she was honored with the NewFest Achievement Award. But, I first “met” Edie in the award-winning documentary Edie and Thea: A Very Long Engagement (the Outfest 2009 Audience Award winner directed by Greta Olafsdottie and Sunsan Muska), a film that chronicles the wedding of Edie and Thea after 42 years of a magnificent love. I was struck by two things in Edie’s acceptance speech at NewFest. First, she talked about the courage that the documentary gave her to take her case to the Supreme Court and second, that the documentary was used as evidence in her case to support her life-long love and commitment to Thea. Overturning DOMA is a testament not only to the courage of one woman, but also to the power to change people, change culture and change the law through story and moving image.
MSNBC Live host Thomas Roberts:
“I feel my marriage has the equal respect it always deserved and I feel validated by my country. Most of all, I am extremely proud.
“It was epic! It was a moment in American history I was literally born to cover. My mom called me right after the show to say how proud she was and I was ‘perfect.’ I spoke to my husband a short time later and he said it best: ‘Great show!’ When you organically have President Obama end up in your hour with reaction to a SCOTUS ruling in favor of LGBT equality — it is a great show!”