Democratic Presidential Candidates Celebrate Historic Supreme Court Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

06/26/2015 11:23 am ET | Updated Jun 26, 2015

WASHINGTON -- While the sprawling field of Republican presidential hopefuls condemned the Supreme Court's Friday ruling legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide, their Democratic counterparts quickly joined in the celebration of the historic moment.

In a statement, former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley alluded to the fact that marriage equality came relatively early to his state. He signed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in March of 2012, which the state's voters upheld in a ballot referendum in November of that year. It was the first time same-sex marriage had been legalized through the ballot initiative process.

“Today, the Supreme Court affirmed that marriage is a human right -- not a state right," O'Malley said. "I'm grateful to the people of Maryland for leading the way on this important issue of human dignity and equality under the law. The American Dream is strongest when all are included.”

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton released a string of Tweets praising the decision after it came down.

In a statement, Clinton cautioned that though the ruling "represents our country at its best," there is more work to be done to achieve equality for all.

"But we know that the struggle for LGBT rights doesn’t end with today’s triumph," she said. "As love and joy flood our streets today, it is hard to imagine how anyone could deny the full protection of our laws to any of our fellow Americans --but there are those who would. So while we celebrate the progress won today, we must stand firm in our conviction to keep moving forward. For too many LGBT Americans who are subjected to discriminatory laws, true equality is still just out of reach. While we celebrate today, our work won’t be finished until every American can not only marry, but live, work, pray, learn and raise a family free from discrimination and prejudice. We cannot settle for anything less."

In a statement, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) noted that he voted against the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996 and supported Vermont’s civil union law in 2000 and legalization of same-sex marriage in 2009.

“Today the Supreme Court fulfilled the words engraved upon its building: ‘Equal justice under law,'" Sanders' statement read. "This decision is a victory for same-sex couples across our country as well as all those seeking to live in a nation where every citizen is afforded equal rights. For far too long our justice system has marginalized the gay community and I am very glad the Court has finally caught up to the American people.”

And former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee tweeted his congratulations to the court, rather than Americans, which might strike some as less than effusive.

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