Those for and against same-sex marriage ruling speak out - KCTV5

Those for and against same-sex marriage ruling speak out

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The Supreme Court handed down two historic decisions on same-sex marriage Wednesday. One gives same-sex couples federal benefits, the other paves the way for same-sex marriages in California.

There are strong feelings on both sides of the issue and those couples who want to see gay marriage legal in Kansas and Missouri are planning a rally outside of the Kansas City, MO, federal courthouse to celebrate Wednesday's Supreme Court ruling. Those who support Wednesday's ruling in Kansas and Missouri said they're optimistic that one day gay couples will be able to say "I do" in their home state.

"She started crying and I started whooping it up in the office, I was like ‘yay!'" attorney Dayna Deck said.

Deck and her spouse Caron Hankins went all the way to Canada two years ago to get married. They said they are excited about Wednesday's Supreme Court ruling even though life for them will still remain the same.

"My 84-year-old father called me a little while ago and he summed it up best. He said, 'We still have a long way to go, but this is a step in the right direction,'" Deck said.

Newt Jones and his husband Jim Corrick are a retired couple living in Kansas City, MO. They were married in Iowa and the Supreme Court ruling says their marriage is real in that state where it is legal. That's not the case, though, in Missouri where same-sex marriages are not recognized.

"It tempers my excitement a little bit because in Missouri we are still second class," Jones said.

There are also still a lot of legal questions that remain unanswered after the ruling.

"It's not clear based on today's decision whether you could file a joint tax return, for example. And again this is true even if you got married in Iowa or Massachusetts and now reside in Kansas or Missouri," attorney Lana Knedlik said.

Danny Zaslavsky and Mark Stahl were one of many gathered outside the federal courthouse to celebrate the ruling.

"It's very important to us that we want to get married, not just for us. We know that commitment there, but so we can protect our kids, God forbid they are in the hospital. We both have rights to make decisions," Zaslavsky, a gay activist, said.

Zaslavsky and Stahl are engaged and expecting twins in just six weeks. While they are happy with the decision, they said it's still frustrating they can't legally say "I do" in Kansas or Missouri.

"I was really hoping for them to knock down all bans on gay marriage so we can get married here. If they were, we'd be first in line to go do it," Stahl said.

But Wednesday's decision isn't welcomed by all.

"I am saddened, but not surprised by the Supreme Court actions," senior pastor Brandon Park said.

Park said First Baptist Raytown church stands firm on its principles that the Bible defines marriage between a man and a woman, even though he admits it probably won't be long before many other states eventually allow same-sex marriages.

"Our responsibility is to continue to proclaim truth and marriage, in our opinion, has not changed in 4,000 years since the Bible was written and we will continue to proclaim what God has said, 'between one man and woman,'" he said.

Rep. Vickie Hartzler echoed Park's opinion. In 2004 she helped lead the coalition that banned same-sex marriage in Missouri.

"Well I feel like that the court got it wrong on both counts. I was pleased though that Missouri's recognition of marriage between one man and one woman still stand, but I feel that five other lofted judges have undermined the will of the people," she said.

A Kansas congressman said he will introduce a constitutional amendment to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. In a statement, Rep. Tim Huelskamp said, "In the end, these unelected judges have allowed the desires of adults to trump the needs of children. Decades of research on families, combined with generations of centuries of human experience all agree - children do best when they have a married mom and dad in the home."

Attorney Elizabeth Hodges-Williams said the ruling will have limited impact on Kansas and Missouri. She said it would take either a legal challenge to the laws in these two states or a move by the Legislature to change things.

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