Response to Rulings on DOMA, Prop 8

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Proposition8 and part of the Defense ofMarriage Act, or DOMA, were struck down earlier today by the Supreme Court.As we know, same-sex marriage is legal here in New York and now these coupleswill have the same federal benefits as heterosexual couples. Legally marriedgay couples are now eligible for tax breaks, pension rights and other benefitsthey were previously denied under DOMA.

“The interesting question will bewhen a legitimately married same-sex couple moves from a state where it isrecognized to a state where it isn’t, how does the state which doesn’trecognize it deal with that?” said Robert Christman, adviser for theGay/Straight Alliance at MVCC.

With 12 states that havelegalized gay marriage, the new law affects 30% of the country. In the otherruling, Proposition 8 was also shot down, paving the way for same-sex marriageto resume in California.

Both decisions had rulingsof four to five.

“Even though it was like afive-four decision, which is really close, it’s good to know that we’re goingin the right direction and that hopefully one day it won’t be a big issue andwe won’t have to fight over it,” said Lee Dumas, a gay rights supporter.

Everyone we spoke with say the decisions area step forward for our country.

“Public opinion has definitelychanged over the last five to ten years,” said Christman.

This shift is reflected inseveral national polls that show more than half of Americans now support gaymarriage.

“I’m really excited about it. Ihave a lot of friends that are also really excited and I’m getting married nextfall and it makes me feel a lot better that not only I can get married but allof my gay friends can get married,” said Lauren Ramsey, also in favor ofgay rights.

“I mean I don’t see any difference.People are people; people want to do what they want to do. I don’t see why theyshould be denied the same privileges as anybody else,” said ChristopherNapierkowski, another supporter.

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