Gov. Scott Walker, Mary Burke and others react to same-sex marriage decision

MADISON (AP) — Governor Scott Walker is sidestepping questions about a U.S. Supreme Court action legalizing same-sex marriage in Wisconsin.

The Supreme Court on Monday, October 6th rejected appeals from five states seeking to prohibit same-sex marriages, paving the way for marriages to start in Wisconsin, Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah and Virginia.

Governor Walker signed the 2006 state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. He didn't directly answer a question Monday about whether he thought Wisconsin was better off with legalized same-sex marriage. But he says the state will honor same-sex marriages as required by the court ruling.

His Democratic opponent, Mary Burke says the court's action is an important step forward for the state. She says no loving, committed couple should ever be denied the freedom to marry.

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D) made the below statement following the U.S. Supreme Court’s action:

“Today’s action by the U.S. Supreme Court is a huge victory for freedom and equality both in Wisconsin and in states across America. And now we can proudly say that marriage equality is the law of the land in Wisconsin. Love is love, family is family, and discriminating against anyone’s love, against anyone’s family, is not only wrong, it’s unconstitutional. This is a huge step forward for our entire country being a place where every family’s love and commitment can be recognized and respected under the law.”

Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen issued the following statement:

“We defended the state’s Marriage Protection Amendment in court. That was our obligation, and our attorneys did so admirably, regardless of whether they agreed with the underlying policy question. The Seventh Circuit affirmed the District Court’s decision holding Wisconsin’s Marriage Protection Amendment unconstitutional, and the Supreme Court has declined the opportunity to examine that decision. It is now our obligation to comply with those court decisions. I encourage everyone to respect the Court’s action and to administer the law fairly and impartially. Once the District Court formally lifts the stay, officials must apply the marriage law consistent with the District Court’s order and the Seventh Circuit’s decision.”

Milwaukee County Board Chairwoman Marina Dimitrijevic issued the following statement:

“Everyone should have marriage equality. The Court’s actions mean that Milwaukee County can again issue same-sex marriage licenses. It’s another good day and a step forward for equality.”

Wisconsin Senate Democratic Leader Chris Larson released the following statement:

“Today, love wins once again in Wisconsin and across the nation. The right to marry the person you love is a basic freedom that should not be denied to anyone. All of our neighbors should have the opportunity to live their lives freely and happily with equal protection under the law. While Gov. Walker and Wisconsin Republicans have time and again callously fought to deny marriage equality in our state, Wisconsin Democrats are proud to join people across Wisconsin in standing tall in the face of continued moral injustice. With today’s decision, ideological forces in Wisconsin and other states across our nation will no longer promote inequality, foster discrimination, or unconstitutionally limit our rights and our freedoms. Today, I am calling on Gov. Walker and Wisconsin Republicans to no longer stand divisively in the way of equality and fairness for our fellow Wisconsinites.”

Statement by Wisconsin State Senator Mark Miller (D):

“Today the United States Supreme Court has made it possible for all citizens of Wisconsin to be equal in the eyes of the law. Wisconsin is now among the states on the right side of history, where the freedom of every person to marry who they love, regardless of sexual orientation is protected. But the fight is not over until every American citizen is seen as equal. I look forward to the day when marriage equality will finally be the law throughout the United States.”

Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate issued the following statement:

“Today we call on Governor Walker to not just say he won’t stand in the way of equality, but to take action to reassure all Wisconsin families that he won’t oppose their constitutional right to equality.Scott Walker must state clearly and unequivocally that he will do everything in his power to enforce the law of the land and ensure that every Wisconsinite is free to marry the person they love – and he must back those words up with strong actions. It’s time for Scott Walker and Brad Schimel to stand down and let marriage equality be the law of the land in Wisconsin.”

Susan Happ, candidate for Attorney General (D) issued the following statement:

“I have always said this ban was unconstitutional from the start and the rulings from the District Court and the Appellate Court could not have been clearer,” said Happ. “It’s a shame that we’ve wasted so much time and money as a state trying to deny people the right to marry who they love. Same-sex couples deserve equal treatment under the law,” continued Happ. “As Attorney General, Wisconsin citizens can count on me to defend all our fundamental rights, including the right to marry who you love.”

Congresswoman Gwen Moore (D) issued the following statement:

"I was elated to learn that our LGBT brothers and sisters will soon be able to legally marry the ones they love. The U.S. Supreme Court’s rejection of appeals from Wisconsin and four other states seeking to prohibit gay marriage is truly a historic victory for love and equality. For the people of the great state of Wisconsin, our diversity is a source of strength. My constituents have stood by my side as we fought together against intolerance and discrimination. We have worked tirelessly to make Milwaukee a community of inclusion and respect for all. I am proud of our collective efforts and even more proud to report that Milwaukee clerks will soon begin issuing licenses to same-sex couples."

Evan Wolfson, president of "Freedom to Marry" issued this statement:

“Today’s decision by the Supreme Court leaves in force five favorable marriage rulings reached in three federal appellate courts, ensuring the freedom to marry for millions more Americans around the country. The Court’s letting stand these victories means that gay couples will soon share in the freedom to marry in 30 states, representing 60% of the American people. But we are one country, with one Constitution, and the Court’s delay in affirming the freedom to marry nationwide prolongs the patchwork of state-to-state discrimination and the harms and indignity that the denial of marriage still inflicts on too many couples in too many places. As waves of freedom to marry litigation continue to surge, we will continue to press the urgency and make the case that America – all of America -- is ready for the freedom to marry, and the Supreme Court should finish the job.”

"Alliance Defending Freedom" Senior Counsel Byron Babione issued this statement:

“The court’s decision not to take up this issue now means that the marriage battle will continue. Several federal courts – including those in the 5th, 6th, 8th, and 11th circuits – still have cases working their way to the Supreme Court. ADF will continue to remain a leader in the critical effort for the freedom of the people. The people should decide this issue, not the courts.”