Shelton’s Congress members praise gay marriage court decision

US. Reps. Jim Himes and Rosa DeLauro, who both represent a part of Shelton, are praising two decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court today in favor of gay marriage.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy also has reacted positively to the court ruling and directed the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) “Pride” flag — representative of the gay community — to be flown over the governor’s residence in Hartford in recognition of the decision.

What the court decided

The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. The law, passed in the 1990s and signed by President Bill Clinton, had denied legally-married gay couples equal protection under federal law by not requiring the federal government or other states to recognize gay marriages from states where such marriages are legal.

The court also dismissed the case challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 8 — California’s gay marriage ban — thereby upholding a lower court’s ruling that overturned the ban.

Himes: ‘Loving, committed couples’

“I am extremely pleased that the Supreme Court sided with equality and fairness by overturning the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act and dismissing the Prop 8 case,” said Himes, a three-term Democrat.

“Today, the Supreme Court righted a grievous historical wrong, reaffirming what we already knew to be true: that loving, committed couples should all receive the same rights and benefits from the federal government regardless of orientation

“Thousands of Connecticut couples legally married in our state,” he continued, “have been waiting for recognition by their government, and I am pleased that their marriages will soon be considered just as valid as my own.”

Gay marriage has been legal in Connecticut since late 2008.

DeLauro: 'A fairer and better nation’

According to DeLauro, “Today is a victory for equality. Barring LGBT Americans from marriage violates the values we hold dear — justice, freedom and equality.

“It makes no difference who someone loves, and denying them the same rights as heterosexual couples is just plain wrong. Today’s decisions will make us a fairer and better nation,” said DeLauro, a 12-term Democrat.

Malloy: ‘When equality wins, we all win’

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said the nation’s highest court has “reaffirmed the core principles of our country — that all people are created equal and have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Malloy, a Democrat, said the federal Defense of Marriage Act had wrongly prevented gay couples legally married in Connecticut from being recognized by the U.S. government.

“Having two different sets of laws for people based solely on their gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity is wrong, and that’s exactly what the Supreme Court recognized today,” he said. “Simply put, today’s ruling comes down to equality, and when equality wins, we all win.”

Shelton is in two congressional districts

The city of Shelton is divided between two congressional districts.

Congressman Jim Himes lives in Greenwich and was first elected to Congress in 2008. He represents the Fourth District, which includes most of Fairfield County.

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro lives in New Haven and was first elected to Congress in 1990. She represents the Third District, which is centered in New Haven County.