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Mississippians React to SCOTUS Ruling on DOMA

By Lawayne Childrey | Published 26 Jun 2013 04:16pm | comments
Sandy Stier, center, and her partner Kris Perry, right, plaintiffs in Hollingsworth v. Perry, the California Proposition 8 case, meets with reporters outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Wednesday, June 26, 2013, after the court's 5-4 decision that cleared the way for the resumption of same-sex marriage in their home state of California. Gesturing at far left is fellow plaintiff Jeff Zarrillo. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Some Mississippian's are  applauding the Supreme Court's decision to strike down a key aspect of the Defense of Marriage Act, which denied gay couples the same federal benefits offered to married heterosexuals.

Renee Sappington of Jackson has been in a committed relationship with her partner Connie Campbell for nearly two decades.

"Actually this August will be 15 years since we exchanged vows, given that we live in Mississippi, we are not considered legally married, but in all practical purposes for our lives we are, we just don't get the legal benefits," says Campbell.
 
Sappington says she highly favors the the Supreme Court’s decision on the issue of gay marriage.
 
"We're extremely happy about the DOMA ruling to just say this is unconstitutional that's to me is just remarkable and it's just been a big victory to know that if people have been legally married elsewhere, that the federal government will honor that and honor us as couples," she continues.
 
Bear Atwood is the Legal Director for the ACLU of Mississippi. She calls the ruling historic and a huge step toward equality for lesbian and gay couples who are married legally in 12 states and the District of Columbia.
 
In fact she calls it a reaffirmation of the importance of equality in the U.S. Even though Atwood applauds the court’s decision she says it may still present challenges for some Mississippi couples.    
 
"Mississippi couples who have gone to another state to marry will in fact be entitled to some federal benefits, not all federal benefits because some of them are based on the place where you live and osome of them are based on the place where you celebrated your marriage and so because Mississippi does not permit marriage, there are some benefits that I think are going to be a little while in coming, but it's a huge step forward even for Mississippi couples," says Atwood.
 
The U.S Supreme court also struck down California's prop 8 which was a ban on gay marriage. This now clears the way for same sex marriage in California.   

Images

Sandy Stier, center, and her partner Kris Perry, right, plaintiffs in Hollingsworth v. Perry, the California Proposition 8 case, meets with reporters outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Wednesday, June 26, 2013, after the court's 5-4 decision that cleared the way for the resumption of same-sex marriage in their home state of California. Gesturing at far left is fellow plaintiff Jeff Zarrillo. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)


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