Locals React To DOMA Ruling - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Locals React To DOMA Ruling

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BILLINGS -

People in the Magic City reacted to the Supreme Court's ruling on Same-Sex Marriage on Wednesday, after the high court invalidated a major portion of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

"I think I screamed, and woke my daughter up!" said Liz Welch, LGBT Field Coordinator for ACLU Montana.

"I think there's a little bit of disappointment, a little bit of sadness. I don't think there's a lot of anger, or anything like that," said Pastor Steve Strutz with Faith Evangelical Church. Both Strutz and Welch had plenty to say about the ruling, which gave married same-sex couples the same rights as their heterosexual counterparts.

"How that plays out can be monumental for the rest of the states, just because they did the ruling based on Equal Protection," said Welch.

"Really comes down to this whole arena of marriage, what is the definition of marriage and who created marriage. Well, from our beliefs, it's God who created marriage." said Strutz.

The ruling will have an impact in states where same-sex relationships are recognized. As of now, there are 20 states that recognize such relationships. Montana's constitution bans same-sex marriages.

"DOMA being repealed did not affect the state policies. As a matter of fact, the second section of DOMA did say it's a state's issue," said Welch. She went on to say, however, that she hopes this situation will soon change.

"We're still working, at the moment, to get legal protections for same-sex couples through our case, Donaldson and Guggenheim," said Welch, referring to a lawsuit by six same-sex couples against the Montana State Government. The lawsuit, which sought legal protection and benefits for same-sex couple, was dismissed by the Montana Supreme Court for being too broad.

Some religious leaders in Billings, however, said they remain opposed to the ruling.

"It's between a man and a woman, it's permanent, it's lifelong, and it's growing. That's called a marriage, and so, anything that varies from that, we would stand in opposition to define it any other way," said Strutz. He did say, however, that they will still work to get their message across, but in a moderate manner.

"In no way do we want to cast out people, because they may have a different view. But we'll just keep going back to the book. Keep going back to the Bible, and deriving our life from that, and I think that's all we can do."

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