Same Sex Marriage Debate Hits Texoma

While the nation's highest court hears testimony for and against California's Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act, Texomans are also speaking out.

Newschannel 6 spoke with Reverend Melanie Martinez of the Wichita Falls Metropolitan Community Church. She's been in Wichita Falls for a year, leading her ministry and helping to raise awareness for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Martinez herself, is a lesbian.

She said, "I would be surprised the Supreme Court made a sweeping judgment that would then necessitate a change in every state." Instead what she's looking for are changes to DOMA, ones that would allow states to provide benefits to couples that legally married.

During her time in Texoma, Rev. Martinez has noted things could be better for the LGBT community. She said, "Its very insular. There's not a lot of folks who are out and about, its not easy to be out here. I still have congregants who identify as gay and lesbian who struggle to be out for fear of losing jobs or losing housing."

One resident we spoke with said he's part of the 53% of Americans who now support same sex marriage. He said, "I believe its up to each individual, and what the public wants, the public gets."

Another person we spoke with said same sex marriage goes against his beliefs. He said, "I believe in a Biblical foundation for marriage, with the husband being a man and wife being a female."

The man added he believes in rights for everyone but the idea of same sex marriage is one he just can't support. He said, "When it breaks down to the core of traditional families, then that's just something I can't really agree with. Who am I to suggest one way being right, one way being wrong outside of taking a Biblical stance?"

Rev. Martinez said many people believe gay and lesbian couples aren't responsible couples, but added being allowed to marry is a sign of their commitment. She said, "Marriage is one of those ways in which we show a committed relationship and a desire to stay in it for the long haul. The same folks who would judge us to not have that kind of stability then refuse to let us take part in it."

Decisions from the Supreme Court aren't expected until June.

Jack Lamson, Newschannel 6