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Locals React to Supreme Court's DOMA Ruling

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LAWTON Okla_ It's a major victory for gay rights. In a historic ruling Wednesday, the Supreme Court threw out part of the Defense of Marriage Act.

Passed in 1996, it denied hundreds of federal benefits for same-sex couples across the nation. Same-sex marriage is still illegal in Oklahoma. So, the question remains: how will this decision affect the Sooner State?

Wednesday's decision has left Americans on either side of the fence. Contrasting opinions haven't just happened across the nation. They're right here in Oklahoma, even in our Lawton/Fort Sill community.

Dale Nomura and Barb Boguski have been together for 16 years. They live right here in Lawton and are thrilled with the Supreme Court's decision.

"It's been a long time coming. I think it legitimizes us," Nomura said.

Because of the change, they plan to marry in New York around Christmas time.

"We don't have state's rights, but we would be able then to have federal rights," Boguski said. "In the past, we weren't sure that if something happened to one of us, the other wouldn't have the right to be making appropriate decisions."

Something Lawton Attorney Clay Hillis explained in more detail. The state still won't allow same-sex couples to marry here, but if they are legally married in another state and come back, Oklahoma will have to uphold new federal laws.

"If they allow a heterosexual married couple to add the spouse on to the health benefit program, then I think even an Oklahoma employer would have to allow the gay partner in a valid marriage from another state," Hillis said.

That's not all, this will also apply to retirement benefits and taxes. For instance, if a couple is legally married and one partner passes away, the other partner can't be taxed on the inheritance.

While some see the Supreme Court's decision as a victory, others are voicing their concerns.

"We got to go back to the Bible, because we feel like the Bible is our final authority," Lawton First Baptist East Pastor Doug Passmore said.

He said no one is condemning the people, but they are condemning their actions.

"Ultimately, if you push it far enough back, there are no babies that are going to be born," Passmore said. "It would destroy our society."

Through scripture, Passmore said he knows God wants nothing destroyed. So, while there is opposition to gay rights, from a legal standpoint, Hillis thinks the nation is taking a turn in that direction.

"Things are changing so rapidly," Hillis said. "I would probably think ten years from now, you're probably going to have gay marriage in most of the states."

Governor Mary Fallin released a statement about the decision Wednesday. She said "I support traditional marriage. I do not support expanding the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples."

She said she agrees with 75% of Oklahomans, who voted that marriage should be between one man and one woman.

 

 

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