Gay rights advocates in Dallas call Wednesday's landmark Supreme Court decisions on gay marriage a victory.
Reading the Supreme Court’s ruling to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act, Rafael McDonnell couldn’t be happier.
“Wow. This is a momentous day. This is one of the landmark rulings you’re going to read about in the history books for years to come,” said McDonnell.
For now, it will help same-sex married couples to receive federal benefits like Social Security survivor payments and tax deductions, but that’s only in the states where gay marriage is legal – not in Texas. McDonnell believes it’s a step in the right direction for a nationwide movement towards equality.
“LGBT people were singled out for discrimination by the passage of DOMA. That’s huge. That’s enormous,” said McDonnell. “It doesn’t directly help those couples in Texas that have gone to other states to get married. It does hasten the process.”
The local LGBT community had been hoping for a broader ruling by the justices on the Prop 9 debate, giving same sex couples the constitutional right to marry once again in California. But McDonnell said they’ll take the smaller victories to help in the bigger battle.
“There are 30 states, including Texas, that have marriage bans in their Constitution. Marriage is something we’re still a little ways off in Texas, but I think it’s going to happen,” said McDonnell.
There is a rally planned for 7 p.m. Wednesday at the corner of Oaklawn Avenue and Cedar Springs Road for those celebrating the Supreme Court’s ruling.
Local leaders are chiming in on the court rulings too. Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings tweeted in support of the decisions.
Right body, highest court in US, made it clear that equality prevails. Congrats!
— Mayor Mike Rawlings (@Mike_Rawlings) June 26, 2013
The pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, Dr. Robert Jeffress believes the justices made the wrong decision.
“To equate gay marriage with heterosexual marriage is to devalue unique contributions that both mothers and fathers make in the lives of children,” said Jeffress, who also released a longer statement to the media Wednesday.