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Thu June 27, 2013
Mixed Reactions in the Triad to U.S. Supreme Court Ruling on Same-Sex Marriage
Nationwide, same-sex couples say they’ve won a battle in the war to secure equal rights. Wednesday, the United States Supreme Court struck down Defense of Marriage Act and rejected the case surrounding Prop 8 in California.
Legally married same-sex couples now have the same federal rights as heterosexual couples. This is the ruling of the United States Supreme Court. Wednesday morning in Winston-Salem, about a dozen supporters of same-sex marriage gathered in Sweet Potatoes waiting for the justices’ ruling. Jerry Morin married his partner in 2011 and calls this ruling a victory. “I am legally married in Washington, D.C. and the ruling on DOMA is very exciting because federal benefits will now follow for both of us.”
But others are less enthusiastic. Vivian Joyner is part owner of Sweet Potatoes. She hoped for a broader ruling to help same-sex couples in states that oppose same sex marriage. “I do have a partner and we’ve been committed for more than 27 years but we live in North Carolina," says Joyner. "So we’re waiting for changes that will reflect what many in the country believe are equal rights under the law.”
Meanwhile, opponents call the ruling tragic. “Same sex unions are about adults. Marriage is about adults and children,” David Hains is the communication director for the Catholic Diocese in Charlotte. He also helped craft North Carolina’s constitutional marriage amendment that passed last year. “Our culture and our courts seem to be moving toward a recognition of same sex unions that lack common sense, human tradition and God’s design especially when it comes to the differences of men and women that are fully expressed in marriage.” Hains says the Catholic Church believes homosexuals are decent people who deserve to have happy lives but that this does not entitle them to enjoy the benefits of marriage.
U.S. Supreme court justices also dismissed a separate case asking it to overturn a lower court decision striking down Prop 8, a California measure limiting marriage to only a man and a woman. This action is expected to open the door for same-sex marriages to resume in California. Nationwide, 12 states and the District of Columbia recognize same-sex marriage.