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Locals react to rulings

Published 10:42am Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Joy Harris

Hartselle Enquirer

In 1996 both houses of Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and President Bill Clinton signed it into law. DOMA allowed states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages performed under the laws of other states or countries. It also defined a “spouse” as a member of a heterosexual couple in a legally recognized marriage.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Section 3 of DOMA unconstitutional in United States v. Windsor Wed., June 26, lifting a ban on legally married same-sex couples being recognized as “spouses” for federal marriage benefit and federal law purposes.

A 5-4 vote decided Section 3 violated the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. As with any controversial ruling, reactions across the nation to the decision have been mixed.

According to an informal poll posted to the Hartselle Enquirer Facebook page June 26, the majority of local Hartselle people seem to disagree with the decision. As of 3 p.m. Monday, there were a total of 64 votes: 36 votes that disagreed with the ruling, 25 votes that agreed with the ruling and 3 votes that were unsure.

Local residents interviewed by the Enquirer last week agreed with those poll results.

Micah Richards took a spiritual stance on the matter.

“I believe marriage is consummated through not only physical means, but also spiritually with God,” Richards said. “He told us in the Bible what constitutes marriage. Going against the example of His intentions is a breakdown of the family unit.”

Linda Gordon had a similar response.

“No, I don’t think states should allow same-sex marriage, but I wouldn’t rule out a state recognizing a civil union between a gay couple,” Gordon said. “I am uncomfortable with calling it marriage, because I believe God’s intention for families was a heterosexual couple raising children together.

“I realize everyone doesn’t share my point of view, and I don’t believe in discriminating against anyone because of their belief system, but I don’t believe the union of a gay couple is the same thing as a marriage.

“If a couple, regardless of sexual orientation, is committed to one another for life, I do believe it is their right to be treated equally by the government. I don’t believe the government should discriminate against anyone because of their personal beliefs in the same way that I don’t believe the government should discriminate should against me because of my conservative Christian position. Everyone should be equal under the law. The distinction I’m making is my belief that marriage is more than a civil union.”

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