This afternoon the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit handed down its decision in Windsor vs. The United States, thereby striking down the “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA) as unconstitutional. DOMA denies federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples and, in doing so, relegates these couples to a different, lesser status under the law.

The Reform Movement has long stood together in support for equal rights and treatment for LGBT individuals and on the issue of marriage equality. The Union for Reform Judaism, Central Conference of American Rabbis and the Women of Reform Judaism joined an amicus brief in this case, spearheaded by the Anti-Defamation League, in support of Edith Windsor.

In response to the court’s decision, Rabbi Saperstein emphasized, “We recognize from our experiences as a people and as advocates for social justice the importance of fighting unjust and discriminatory laws, and enthusiastically endorse this ruling.” Furthermore he noted, “This is a vital moment in the struggle toward marriage equality nationwide, a struggle in which the Reform Jewish Movement continues to be a proud participant.”

See the full text of Rabbi Saperstein’s statement here and tell your members of Congress to cosponsor and support the Respect for Marriage Act (H.R. 1116/S. 598) today!

Image courtesy of Andrew Kelly/Reuters.