Supreme Court Rules on Same-Sex Marriage Issues - KMOT.COM - Minot, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Supreme Court Rules on Same-Sex Marriage Issues

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Crowds waited outside the nations capitol for rulings that affect same sex marriage in the country. And when the decision was finally released, those in support of gay marriage didn't hold back their excitement.

And the excitement is spilling over for some in North Dakota.

"The GLBT Community, myself, our straight allies, we have just been ecstatic at this ruling today," says Dakota Outright president Andrew Adams.

By a five to four vote, the justices struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, meaning that a couple wed in a state where same-sex marriage is legal will be eligible for federal benefits, even if they now live in a state that doesn't recognize it, like North Dakota.

"That's a huge sweeping change because previously that federal law prevented people then from carrying over a lot of their rights from one state to another, when it came to same sex marriages," says Dr. Mark Springer, University of Mary.

The court also decided not to make a ruling on California's Proposition 8, which will allow gay marriage to resume in the state.

Senator Heidi Heitkamp says she was pleased with the court's decisions and says they are a triumph for equality.

But Representative Kevin Cramer doesn't share the same opinion.

"What I regret the most about them is that they seem to sort of ignore the will of the people. In the case of California, they certainly seem to be stripping the rights of some Californians. Although, I understand there are some technicalities there that maybe would fix that," says Rep. Cramer.

Neither of the decisions will force any change in North Dakota as far as the ban already in affect. But Adams hopes it will help state lawmakers be open to the discussion.

"We're the same as everyone else. We're your brothers and sisters, family members, co-workers and we deserve the same rights as everyone else. We're just people," says Adams.

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