Thursday, April 24 2014 3:47 PM EDT2014-04-24 19:47:30 GMT
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Local reaction is pouring in on the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS)
rulings dealing with gay rights. The LGBT community
celebrated at Packo's at the Park Wednesday night, saying the SCOTUS rulings
were long overdue.
The main cause
of celebration was the high court's decision about a key provision of the Defense
of Marriage Act (DOMA). Justices struck down the portion that denies federal
benefits to married gay couples.
It clears the
way for same-sex couples to receive health, tax, and pension benefits that already
go to married couples of the opposite sex.
of Equality Ohio helped organize the rally. She said the ruling was a relief.
"You know, after
kind of biting our nails for the past couple of days, just waiting for what
seems like an eternity for a decision on the right side of history," she said.
In the other
ruling, the Supreme Court dealt a blow to California's voter-approved ban on
gay marriage. Ohio does not recognize same sex marriage, but the supporters
gathered in downtown Toledo believed there was now a sense of momentum.
"How long did it
take for women to get the right to vote? How long did it take to integrate
schools?" asked Sue Carter, ACLU state board member. "We're at that point in
time where this equal justice issue is going to be solved and everyone will
have the same rights."
But there are
also negative reactions to the SCOTUS rulings. Bishop Leonard Blair of the
Catholic Diocese of Toledo said in a statement, "Today's Supreme Court
decisions on marriage are deeply disappointing. As I have previously written in
a statement on marriage, law is a teacher that is meant to inform and uphold
the common good. Accepting homosexual relationships as 'marriage' has the
inevitable effect of weakening people's understanding and commitment to what
marriage really is."
The Bishop also
said the diocese will continue to be at the forefront of upholding marriage as
the union of one man and one woman.