Both sides react to Supreme Court marriage rulings
Same-sex couples are now looking at more marriage equality, in the eyes of the federal government and it's all because of some landmark rulings from the nation's highest court.Photo: Video by ktnv.com
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Same-sex couples are now looking at more marriage equality, in the eyes of the federal government and it's all because of some landmark rulings from the nation's highest court.
The Supreme Court struck down key provisions in the federal Defense of Marriage Act, saying it violates equal protection rights under the law.
The ruling clears the way for legally married same-sex couples to receive federal benefits.
"We just want to get married because it's the natural next step in our relationship. We want to join the institution of marriage, not to take anything away but strengthen it," said Paul Katimi, Prop 8 plaintiff.
In a separate decision, the high court cleared the way for same-sex marriage in California, by refusing to rule on Proposition 8, the voter approved amendment banning gay marriage.
Prop 8 proponents now have 25 days to ask for a re-hearing. During that time, same-sex marriage in California will be on hold.
Wednesday's rulings have led to a celebration rally at The Center on Charleston and Maryland Parkway in Las Vegas.
Local Kristine Kuzemka and her partner of more than 15 years are now booking a trip to the Golden State, "We go there every year and because it's not legal in California again, we're going to get married there."
The Center's Tom Kovach said dumping DOMA, which outlawed federal benefits to same-sex couples, is a huge step forward towards marriage equality.
But for all the excitement in the air about the rulings, there are still plenty of people on the other side of the issue, and they're outraged.
"This court has taken it upon themselves to define or redefine marriage for all of us. We're going to have to go through the amendment process to defend marriage and protect our children," said one opponent.
The Silver State is in the majority of states that still do not recognize same-sex marriage. But the Valley's gay rights community is adamant the Supreme Court's decisions will pave the way for change to happen locally.