Updated 1:24 p.m.
Democratic members of Congress quickly praised the U.S. Supreme Court's rulings Wednesday in same sex marriage cases and pledged to introduce legislation that would finish the job of fully repealing the Defense of Marriage Act.
The decision striking down DOMA as unconstitutional was lauded by a large group of Democrats, starting with a one word statement – "Yes!" – on Twitter from Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.).
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), whose Respect for Marriage Act during last Congress got 32 cosponsors but not a vote, said she was "thrilled" by the opinions. "I will introduce legislation ASAP to repeal discriminatory DOMA once and for all," Feinstein announced on Twitter.
Members of the House also pledged action. Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice, said he will reintroduce his Respect for Marriage Act bill from last Congress, "which will send DOMA into the history books where it belongs."
"Today's ruling affirms what we stand for as Americans—the guarantee that every person and every family is given equal respect under the law," said Nadler, the congressman for the DOMA lead plaintiff, Edie Windsor, who also spearheaded a congressional amicus brief in the case. "It means that married same-sex couples can participate fully in federal programs that provide much-needed security for American families."
Republican lawmakers also saw some good in the day when it came to the Proposition 8 decision. Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) went on Glenn Beck's radio show following the decisions and said that the decision affirmed traditional marriage in 34 states.
"The good side of this ruling that they have affirmed this is a state issue and states can decide," Paul said. "I think traditional marriage laws are now upheld in 34 states."
But Paul predicted defeat for traditional marriage laws at the federal level, telling opponents of same-sex marriage that "the battle is going to be lost on the federal level, concentrate on the state."
Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said in a statement that issues like same-sex marriage "should be settled through the democratic process, as the Founders intended, not through litigation and court pronouncements."
And he predicted a return for the issue. "The sweeping language of today's majority opinion is more troubling than the ruling itself as it points to further interference by the Court in the years to come," Rubio said.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) issued a statement that said Republicans defended DOMA in court because the constitutionality of a law should be judged by the courts, and "it is always critical that we protect our system of checks and balances."
Boehner said he was "disappointed" in the decision. "A robust national debate over marriage will continue in the public square, and it is my hope that states will define marriage as the union between one man and one woman," Boehner's statement said.
Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), the House Judiciary Committee chairman, said he was "disappointed and troubled" by the DOMA ruling. "Today's decision is certainly a setback for the traditional values that make up the backbone of our country," Goodlatte said in a statement.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) praised both the DOMA and the Proposition 8 decision, which clears the path for the return of gay marriage in California.
"Today, the Supreme Court bent the arc of history once again toward justice," Pelosi said. "The court placed itself on the right side of history by discarding Section 3 of the defenseless Defense of Marriage Act and by allowing marriage equality for all families in California."