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NEA president comments on Supreme Court decisions on same-sex marriage

DOMA ruling is ‘a major milestone in American history,’ says head of nation’s largest union

WASHINGTON - June 26, 2013 -

Dennis Van Roekel, president of the nation’s largest union, representing more than 3 million educators, commented on today’s rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court in United States v. Windsor, which struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as unconstitutional, and Hollingsworth v. Perry, which let stand a lower court ruling that struck down California’s ban on same-sex marriage. The following can be attributed to Van Roekel:

“What we have witnessed today is a major milestone in American history—a monumental decision and a huge step forward for civil rights. As an educator, I cannot help but be moved by the thought of all of the children and students we serve whose families will now be made whole. I am reminded of the struggle, and I think of how far we, as a society, have come to let love overcome hate and bigotry. At the same time, today’s victory is tempered with the reality of yesterday’s decision, which dealt such a horrible blow to the progress we’ve made in our journey to achieve racial equality. The fight for social justice goes on, and because of what we do and who we serve, we will always be on the frontline of this battlefield.”

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The National Education Association ( is the nation's largest professional employee organization, representing 3.2 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

CONTACT: Staci Maiers  (202) 270-5333 cell,