The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that legally married same-sex couples should get the the same federal benefits as heterosexual couples.

The court invalidated part of the Defense of Marriage Act that kept married gay couples from receiving tax, health and retirement benefits that are available to most married people.

The vote was 5 to 4.

Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley issued the following response:

“This Supreme Court decision that the federal government must recognize all marriages is a huge stride forward for equality and fairness.  No one should be denied equal rights because of whom they love and discrimination has no place in our laws.”