President Barack Obama and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi welcomed the news that the Supreme Court struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
The 5-4 decision on Wednesday said the 1996 law was unconstitutional and violated the principles of equal protection by giving federal benefits to heterosexual couples while denying them to gay couples in the states where same-sex marriage is legal.
Obama issued his response in a tweet: "Today's DOMA ruling is a historic step forward for #MarriageEquality. #LoveIsLove"
Pelosi also celebrated the outcome on Twitter: "Today, the Supreme Court bent the arc of history once again toward justice, discarding the defenseless #DOMA into the dustbin of history."
Political commentator Professor Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia advised Republicans to support the decisions.
He tweeted, "If Rs are smart, they will accept #SCOTUS #DOMA decision. Anti-gay rights is a TOTAL loser for GOP, sending young to Ds."
The law originally passed by bipartisan majorities in Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton defined marriage as between one man and one woman.
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