Northeast Wisconsin Reacts to Gay Marriage Ruling
Photo: Video by nbc26.com
APPLETON- Here in Northeast Wisconsin people are split on the Supreme Court's gay marriage decision. The Court voted early Wednesday morning to allow legally married gay Americans to be eligible for federal tax, health and pension benefits. They also agreed with a lower court ruling that California's ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional.
Some say it's about time there's equality for everyone while others say the ruling is an ethical mistake.
"It's a huge day for marriage equality," said Kathy Flores. Flores is in a domestic partnership herself and she also is the Diversity Coordinator for the City of Appleton.
For Flores this is a day her and her partner have hoped for for years.
"I'm somebody who's had cancer, I have MS, I've had aneurysms and so marriage equality matters to us," said Flores.
The Supreme Court's ruling gives social security and health care benefits to same-sex couples on the federal level, but supporters say today's decision will also have an impact on teens.
"It's really going to send a message to the youth that it's okay to be who you are," said Jesse Heffernan, the LGBT coordinator for the Appleton Harmony Cafe.
The Supreme Court decision doesn't come without opposition. Bishop David Ricken of the Green Bay Catholic Diocese said in a statement today, "The Supreme Court redefined our nation's laws, but it cannot redefine marriage as God created it. God made man and woman, uniquely in his image. By design, he made them to complement one another in a way that brings forth new life."
According to Kathy Flores, "In Wisconsin, we still have a ways to go."
For Flores and many others, they say today is just the first step in what may be many more changes for gay equality.
This Supreme Court ruling only affects the federal level. Each state still gets to decide whether to accept same sex marriage or not. Here in Wisconsin, same sex marriage is not recognized.