Same-Sex Marriage Controversy - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Same-Sex Marriage Controversy

It was a landmark moment in what many see as the defining civil rights issue of our time. The State of California lifted the ban on same-sex marriage on June 26 causing a surge of reaction from all across the country.

"The Supreme Court lifting the ban is quite significant for our hopes for other states including the State of Texas. I think it's a show of support for a community that is otherwise allowed to be discriminated against in all sorts of cases" said Pastor Melanie Martinez of Wichita Falls Metropolitan Community Church.

This historic moment is a sign of hope for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender community in Texoma. This decision could ignite a cultural and political shift in the way marriage is defined in this country. However for the LGBT community in Texas, there is a long road ahead.

According to Martinez, "Texas actually has its own constitutional amendment that declares marriage between a man and a woman. So we will be challenged with the changes in the Defensive Marriage Act."

In 2003, Governor Rick Perry signed the Defense of Marriage Act specifying that Texas does not legally recognize a same-sex marriage or civil union. Two years later, Perry supported strengthening the constitutional boundaries on same sex marriage with the Texas Marriage Amendment defining marriage as the "union of one man and one woman". Here in Texoma, opinions are divided on this subject.

Opponent Kaydee Peigne believes "marriage should be between a husband and a wife. That's how god says it and that's how I live it. That's what I'm going to raise my daughter to do."

On the other hand, supporter Jesse Hash is not bothered by the recent change in legislation. "I don't care about it to be honest. I have friends that are gay, same sex as I am and it doesn't bother me. I still hang out with them" he said.

Advocates for same-sex marriage hope marriage equality will become acceptable in the State of Texas.

"I hope Texas will become one of the states that honors all marriages, whether it may be homosexual or heterosexual marriage" Martinez said.

Currently, 13 states plus the District of Columbia approve same-sex marriage. To have your voice heard, both sides of the debate strongly recommend getting involved and reaching out to local legislation.

Cynthia Kobayashi, Newschannel Six.

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