Lawmakers Mixed on High Court's Gay Marriage Rulings

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WASHINGTON - Only 17 years ago lawmakers pushed through the federal Defense of Marriage Act, that defined marriage as between one man and one woman. Sweeping majorities of the 535 lawmakers in the House and Senate approved that legislation.

But it only took five justices of the Supreme Court to overturn it, a decision that has sparked strong opinions on both sides. Members of Congress were as divided as the Supreme Court over the issue.

President Barack Obama was very clear on his position, calling Wednesday's DOMA ruling a "victory."

"This ruling is a victory for couples who have long fought for equal treatment under the law for children whose parent's marriages will now be recognized, rightly, as legitimate," he said before leaving for Africa.

"How religious institutions define and consecrate marriage has always been up to those institutions," he continued. "Nothing about this decision -- which applies only to civil marriages -- changes that."

It's statement that some members of Congress would say is not true. CBN News spent the day on Capitol Hill. Here are some of the reactions from Congress:

"To me this is a major, major pivot point. Admittedly it's only a 5-4 decision but it's there, it's solid. This train has left the station," Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., said.

"...I fought too long and too hard against discrimination, against race and color not to speak up and speak out against discrimination based on sexual orientation," Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga. 

"If the courts don't understand their limited role here, then we need a Federal Marriage Amendment to protect tradition marriage not just for marriage and the couples, but for our children," Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kansas, said.

"I will introduce the FMA perhaps later this week and call upon all my fellow Republicans who just a few years ago said they were for marriage or voted for marriage or supported those efforts in their state legislature, for them to step up and say marriage is so important we need a marriage amendment now," he said.

While they're on opposite sides of the debate, there's one thing both sides agree on -- the fight over marriage is far from over. 

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John Jessup

John Jessup

CBN News Anchor

John Jessup serves as the main news anchor for CBN, a position he assumed after 10 years reporting for the network in Washington, D.C. His work in broadcast news has earned him several awards in reporting, producing, and coordinating elections coverage. Follow John on Twitter @JohnCBNNews and "like" him at