Delawareans Speak Out on Same-Sex Marriage - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Delawareans Speak Out on Same-Sex Marriage

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DOVER, Del. - The highest court in the land is hearing arguments on whether to strike down the state of California's ban on same-sex marriage.

The Supreme Court justices are also trying to determine whether to allow same-sex marriage nationwide.

It's an issue that has divided the country and many people who live on Delmarva.

"We are very optimistic that the court is going to overturn DOMA and that the court is going to find Proposition 8 unconstitutional," said Lisa Goodman, President of Equality Delaware.

Goodman and Mark Purpura of Equality Delaware say the current law has a negative impact on same sex couples.

"If the court determines that DOMA is unconstitutional, that means that any state that has marriage laws, their same-sex couples will have access to those federal protections under federal law. We do not believe that will mean couples in civil unions will have access to those same protections," said Purpura, President of Equality Delaware Foundation.

"They're already doing what the government doesn't want them to do, so what does it matter if we let them have the benefits, which they are entitled to," said Claire Gleason of Dover.

Others don't agree.

"I believe a marriage should be between a man and a woman and I've had that belief all my life," said Alton Price of Dover.

"We use the bible in court to speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, but when we are accepting something outside of the truth, there is a problem," said Kimberly Gladney of Dover.

Recent polls show 58 percent of the country approve of gay marriage. Eighty-one percent of people 18 to 29, support same sex marriage. Nine states (CT, IA, ME, MD, MA, NH, NY, WA, and VT) plus Washington, D.C. have the freedom to marry for same-sex couples.

Delaware state law recognizes civil unions between same-sex couples as legal relationships. The Delaware General Assembly passed the Civil Union and Equality Act of 2011 during the first session of the 146th General Assembly. Governor Jack Markell signed the legislation on May 11, 2011.

Goodman says DOMA and Proposition 8 laws are a violation of equal protection.

"The DOMA case is about whether or not the federal government should back to doing what the federal government has always done, which is to say if your state says your married, then we recognize you as being married under the federal government," said Goodman.

"As far as the issue of gay marriage, I say let them live. I think people should get on with their lives and worry about more serious matters," said Michael Pelrine of Dover.

Still, others say it's the Bible that teaches

"I believe in the word of God. The word of God says that marriage is between a man and a woman coming together in a union," said Gladney.

Same-sex marriage is an issue the justices will try to resolve.

 

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