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Marriage Equality

Meet 17 Winners And 14 Losers From Marriage Equality's Huge Week

Meet 17 Winners And 14 Losers From Marriage Equality's Huge Week


Several states have won the freedom to marry in just the last few days. That means plenty to celebrate for same-sex couples and their allies -- and plenty to lament for those who oppose equality.

More states have won marriage equality this month than ever before, and we're barely halfway to November.

The slew of victories and subsequent marriages have provoked plenty of comment from both sides of the marriage fight. For every happy couple, jubilant organization, and proud public official, there has been no shortage of unhappy antigay soundbites.

Below, we've collected quotes from some of the big winners and big losers from coast to coast. To the winners we offer our congratulations; and although the losers sure are despondent, it couldn't have happened to a more deserving bunch of people.



Winner --Joshua Decker, Executive Director of the Alaska American Civil Liberties Union: "Today's decision allows Alaskans to marry and to have their outside marriages recognized here. This victory brings equal rights to thousands of Alaskan couples who are in loving, committed relationships."

Loser -- Alaska Governor Sean Parnell (pictured at left): "As Alaska's governor, I have a duty to defend and uphold the law and the Alaska Constitution." Editor's note: After the federal judge who struck down Alaska's ban refused to put his ruling on hold, Parnell's office frantically asked the Ninth Circuit to stop couples from getting married starting Thursday.

Wendy-and-michelle-afredsen-x633_0Wendy and Michelle Afredsen


Winners -- Plaintiffs Wendy and Michelle Afredsen (pictured above): "I'm officially Mrs. Alfredsen. ... We are basking in this moment and celebrating that our children will not have to take on this fight."

Loser -- Republican House Candidate Gordon Klingenschmitt: "Gay marriage is still illegal in all 50 states because God has decreed it so."



Winners -- Indianapolis couple Cronley Hurt and Joe Cottrell: "We've waited 14 years, and we thought that was enough time to wait."

Winner -- Lambda Legal attorney Paul Castillo (pictured at left): "Today is a great day for marriage equality in Indiana. In American history there has never been a comparable social phenomenon that has achieve victory so quickly."


Loser -- American Family Association of Indiana Executive Director Micah Clark: "If we're going to allow one unelected judge to overturn millions of Americans' vote, then allowing people to vote on this apparently doesn't matter."

Loser -- Indiana Governor Mike Pence (at right): "My position on this issue is very well known, but I believe in the rule of law."



Winner -- Montana ACLU Legal Director Jim Taylor: "I'm not sure what their strategy will be, but it's clear that the law is against them now."

Loser -- Attorney General Tim Fox (at left): "Until a federal court rules otherwise in a case to which Montana is a party, the definition of marriage in Montana's constitution remains lawful and valid."


North Carolina

Winner -- ACLU of North Carolina Legal Director Chris Brook (at right): "The Supreme Court's decision means that the freedom to marry for same-sex couples must be recognized here in North Carolina without delay. ... The legislature can attempt to pursue an appeal if they so choose; however, that would only unnecessarily expend taxpayer resources. North Carolinians can rest assured: the freedom to marry is here to stay."

Loser -- House Speaker Thom Tillis: "28 months ago, 60 percent of the people of North Carolina decided that they wanted to define marriage as an institution between a man and a woman."

Loser -- Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger: "Today's ruling recognizes that the more than 60 percent of North Carolina voters who define marriage as between one man and one woman deserve their day in court, and this decision is an important step to ensure their voice is heard."



Winner -- ACLU of Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel (at left): "In short order, and not a minute too soon, the State of Oklahoma will begin to license and recognize the marriages of same-sex couples, and one era of discrimination in Oklahoma will be resigned to the history books. We celebrate today's victory and offer our sincere appreciation for the many allies of equality that have made today possible. As we celebrate, we know that this giant step towards equality must not be the last. We now turn our attention to ensuring that there is not a single jurisdiction in the United States that lawfully discriminates against same-sex couples."

Loser -- Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin: "The will of the people has now been overridden by unelected federal justices, accountable to no one. That is both undemocratic and a violation of states' rights. ... Those rights have once again been trampled by an arrogant, out-of-control federal government that wants to substitute Oklahoma values with Washington, D.C. values."

Loser -- Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt: "Though I disagree with the federal courts on these issues, the court's decision is law."



Winner -- Democratic candidate for Utah Attorney General Charles Stormont (at right): "The fact that not even four justices were willing to hear Utah's case, or any of the other six cases addressing the same issue, demonstrates the weakness of the state's case. After 10 months since the appeals began, now is the time for Sean Reyes to tell the people how much money he has wasted on these fruitless appeals."

Gary-herbert-x400_0Loser -- Utah Governor Gary Herbert (at left): "We are a state and a people who believe in upholding the law of the land, and that has been determined for us today in a way that may be not satisfactory for some, but it is the law of the land."

Loser -- Elder Dallin Oaks: "When our positions do not prevail, we should accept unfavorable results graciously and practice civility with our adversaries."

Virginia-governor-terry-mcauliffe-x633_0Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe

Winner -- Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe (pictured above): "This is a historic and long overdue moment for our Commonwealth and our country." Editor's note: After Virginia secured the freedom to marry, Gov. McAuliffe signed an executive order ensuring that same-sex couples had immediate access to equal benefits in health care and were guaranteed the right to adopt children.

Winner -- Clerk of the Court Traci Johnson: "I believe that love is hard to find, and if you have found it and it's your choice, you should not miss an opportunity."

Winner -- Senator Mark Warner: "Allowing people to marry who they love is the fundamentally right thing to do, and it strengthens our families and communities. This is a remarkable and memorable day in Virginia's march toward equality."

Loser -- State Senator Richard H. Black: "I don't know what the difference between a dictatorship and this is."


Winners - Plaintiffs Carol Schumacher and Virginia Wolf (pictured left and right, respectively): "It's been a long, long journey. We both feel a little safer today."

Winner -- Plaintiff Natalie Starr: "Guess what? It's legal. You can't stop us now for sure and you can't take it away from us."

Winner -- U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin: "Love is love, family is family, and discriminating against anyone's love, against anyone's family, is not only wrong, it's unconstitutional."

Loser -- Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen: "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."



Winner -- Wyoming Equality chairman Jeran Artery (pictured above): "Wyoming is part of the 10th Circuit and the 10th Circuit ruled favorably for the freedom to marry in Utah and Oklahoma, and being part of the 10th circuit, we are bound by those decisions."

Winner -- Attorney James Lyman: "At the end of the day, the 10th Circuit's ruling is now the law in Wyoming, which means that same-sex couples now have the fundamental right to get married in Wyoming and the governor and the AG's office are trying to interfere with that right."

Loser -- Wyoming Governor Matt Mead: "The attorney general will continue to defend Wyoming's constitution defining marriage between a man and a woman."

Loser -- Wyoming gubernatorial candidate Don Willis: "What we have is black-robe judges sitting in D.C. or someplace who are trying to make laws in Wyoming, overriding the will of the people. And if the will of the people is that marriage is between a man and woman, that is none of the business of the federal government."

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Matt Baume