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Valley same-sex marriage proponents laud SUPCO ruling

Published: Thu, June 27, 2013 @ 12:01 a.m.

RELATED: Historic rulings boost gay rights




Proponents of same-sex marriage call it an issue of equality and human rights, and they expect to see the question before Ohio voters within three years.


Celebrating Wednesday’s Supreme Court ruling striking down a key provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act at the Lemon Grove in downtown Youngstown are from left, Anita Davis, Matthew Cataline, Terry Esarco and Evan Miller-Murphy. During a discussion about the decision, Miller-Murphy said, “It’s really not about gay rights. It’s about being a human. I want to go to the zoo with my wife and kids and not get stared at.”

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional.

In a separate decision, the court declined to rule on a California law that banned same-sex marriage.

Both rulings were decided on narrow 5-4 votes.

Ohio law still restricts marriage to between a man and a woman, but the Supreme Court decision means that same-sex couples legally married in other jurisdictions will be eligible for federal benefits and programs.

“I cried,” said Evan Miller-Murphy of New Castle, Pa. “I think being recognized as a human being is an amazing step forward. It’s not really about gay rights. It’s about human rights.”

Miller-Murphy proposed to her wife in Jamaica, where they married in a small ceremony. Friends in Ohio hosted another ceremony for them, and they were legally married in New York in March 2012 and renewed their vows on their honeymoon in Rome.

“I pay my taxes,” she said. “I’m a law-abiding citizen, and so is my wife. We’re a committed, loving couple, and we deserve to have the same rights as other married couples. We’re not asking everyone to agree with it. There’s a lot of marriages that I don’t like. I don’t like that Donald Trump has a new young model every few years.”

States in which same-sex marriages are prohibited still won’t recognize the marriages, but those couples will be eligible for federal benefits and other considerations.

Miller-Murphy said that if either she or her wife is hospitalized and unable to communicate, they would be able to produce legal documentation of their union and be permitted by hospital personnel to see the other.

“That’s ridiculous, too,” she said.

Heterosexuals don’t have to produce a marriage license to visit their spouses in the hospital.

Anita Davis, board member of Pride Youngstown, believes the court made the right decision. It’s about equal protection under the law, she said.

She expects the issue of same-sex marriage to come before Ohio voters again in the next couple of years.

“It will either be 2014 or 2016,” Davis said.

Petition drives are under way to gather required signatures to place the issue on the ballot.

In 2004, Ohio voters amended the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage.

State Rep. Bob Hagan of Youngstown, D-58th, called the Supreme Court decision a great civil-rights ruling.

“It seems to me DOMA is out, and love wins,” he said.

Hagan believes many issues must be part of the decision on when to place gay marriage rights on the Ohio ballot.

Gov. John Kasich is up for election in 2014 so conservatives would like to see the issue on the ballot then, Hagan said.

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Niles, D-13th, said proponents must continue the fight for marriage equality, “as marriage rights should not depend on what state you live in.

“There is still uncertainty for many couples in America, and I hope the Administration will take every step necessary to ensure that all married couples receive equal rights,” Ryan said. “I am happy that the Supreme Court has brought the country one step closer to realizing our Constitution’s promise of equality.”

State Sen. Joe Schiavoni of Boardman, D-33rd, also supports the decision.

He believes 2016, expected to generate a higher voter turnout because it’s a presidential year, would be the better election for the issue to appear before voters.

“It’s an important case that affects many Americans and many Ohioans, and either way, we need to get it resolved,” Schiavoni said.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, who voted against DOMA in 1996, also applauded the court’s decision.

“For the next generation of Americans, for the military families who have supported service members in the shadows, and couples who have dedicated their lives to one another for decades, this historic ruling proves that our American future is not defined by yesterday’s inequality,” Brown said in a statement.

Not everyone, however, viewed the decision as good news.

In a statement, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, chair of the U.S. bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, called Wednesday “a tragic day for marriage and our nation. The Court got it wrong. The federal government ought to respect the truth that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, even where states fail to do so.”

The future of marriage and the well-being of society hang in the balance, the cardinal and bishop said in the statement.

“Marriage is the only institution that brings together a man and a woman for life, providing any child who comes from their union with the secure foundation of a mother and a father,” the statement says.

Others view it as progress.

Lisa Ronquillo, president of YSUnity at Youngstown State University, called the decision a step in the right direction. The organization fosters awareness of and respect for all types of diversity.

“My philosophy is love is love,” she said. “Who gives anyone the right to decide that a certain type of love is wrong?”

She said proponents still have a lot of work to do, but they aren’t losing hope.

“I feel like baking rainbow cupcakes and handing them out to everyone,” Ronquillo said.


1LtMacGowan(695 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

Its about time DOMA was struck down. Its time we stopped discriminating against people and let people be no matter who they choose to love.

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2snworb56(52 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

I pay my taxes as well. They can rule on this however they wish but it's still wrong. Marriage is between a man and a woman. The good ol' US is changing for the worst for sure.

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3ANTIYOUNGSTOWN(251 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

Yet another decision that leads us down the road of destruction. This is wrong.

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4Buckeyebill(3 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

This country of ours needs the Lord and we can see every day the direction that it is taking. God forgive us please.

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5glbtactivist(305 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

Equality is always good for everyone. Bigotry is always bad for everyone. Religious hatred is the worse. Just look at the religious group al Queda. They killed all those people on 9/11 in the name of God.

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6walter_sobchak(2513 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

It seems to me that since I need a marriage license to get married, marriage is a privilege. This is all about the money. As I recall, this movement picked up steam when homosexuals with AIDS wanted to be put on their partners plans by claiming they should be able to get married. Then they wanted federal benefits such as survivors social security benefits although the actuarial tables have not been set up to include them as they are not widows or orphans. But, could they get these benefits through a change in law through the democratic process? Not on the federal level. In fact, DOMA was passed by a overwhelming majority of legislators and signed by Billy Bob Clinton. (BTW, he called it a great ruling. So, was he a hypocrite then or now?) What is really troubling is that SCOTUS appears to be saying that those that oppose extending benefits to homosexuals are haters and bigots. Or, as Justice Scalia called it in is his excellent dissent, "hostes humani generis", enemies of the human race.

So, the court has opened up a real can of wormswith this ruling. If we allow any consenting adults to become married, does this mean multiple spouses are OK? What about a father marrying his biological daughter? Oh, that's right! We have laws against that because that would apparently be detrimental to society. Yep, that once-great country, the USA is allowing the toilet bowl to really start swirling. I'm glad I'm playing the back nine.

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71970mach1(1005 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

The caption has 6 names but I only see 5 people.

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876Ytown(1320 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

So the media wants you to keep cheering about sames sex marriage bill is all about "love"...look closely at the real reason this was brought to the Supreme Court.

Edie Winsdor married her partner of more than 40 years in Canada in 2007. Their relationship was recognized by the state of New York, where they lived together. When her spouse died two years later, she inherited a huge estate tax bill which she would have avoided if her marriage had been recognized under federal law. The Supreme Court decision was based on the tax ramifications....money.

The top court Wednesday overturned in a 5-4 decision the third section of the 1996 law — known by the acronym DOMA — that strictly defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman and blocked same-sex couples from access to an estimated 1,138 federal privileges and programs that use marital status as a criterion for eligibility.

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9TB(1167 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

“Marriage is the only institution that brings together a man and a woman for life, providing any child who comes from their union with the secure foundation of a mother and a father"

Watching Maury As I Read This....Hahaha What A joke

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10gfiggy(2 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

It's extremely sad at how our state representative favor things that will get them votes. Judgement day will come and we all will have to face God. Outr laws continue to change but Gods law doesn't. We need to start taking GOD's commandements a little more seiously.
Sin is sin no matter how great or small.
The best thing is that God forgives us for our sins.

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11snworb56(52 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

gfiggy......amen to that.

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12mwhite(3 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

Most ridiculous comment I've read today......“It’s really not about gay rights. It’s about being a human. I want to go to the zoo with my wife and kids and not get stared at.”...........
Go to the zoo. Just because the government has ONCE AGAIN made a poor decision doesn't mean that you won't get stared at. The MAJORITY of the public doesn't agree with your lifestyle and regardless of what the government's latest opinion on the subject is will NOT change this opinion.
I don't know where the media comes up with their polling numbers that say most Americans agree with same-sex marriage.

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13evanmm(3 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

she took everything in bits and pieces out of context. I am used to Dallas reporters who can follow a thread- um no. I actually said " Its not about GAY marriage or GAY rights, its about HUMAN rights. Any time there is a segregation or difference in our protections and privileges - it indicates a difference in the level of humanity . " she printed some side comment I said about not liking Donald Trump serial marriages but that NOT meaning I wanted to take away his rights - whether I agree or not , he and all the trophy wife ilk are entitled to marry whomever they please. The comment about wanting to take my children to the zoo without incident or even notice actually referred to an incident regarding my zoo membership and difficulty in having a legal same sex spouse . Nor did I ever call my wife a partner. The article is badly written and ineptly edited with grammatical, spelling and citing errors. That said - everyone is entitled to their opinion- they should NOT be allowed to have that opinion replace justice and equality . When citizens face segregatory or discriminatory law based on someones (not everyones - not even the majority which is currently 58% pro same sex marriage) religious belief - it is contrary to the government separation of those entities as established therein . People are allowed to be anti semitic, racist, sexist , Nazi etc- you have that right - you can hate, disagree etc with any colour , religion etc - it should not mean that racist, bigots, sexist and anti semites impact the rights of the people they hate . Any more so than I am able to limit the rights of bigots , racist etc ( whom I really do not like or agree with).

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14evanmm(3 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

To make this as simple as possible- people are entitled to live bigoted, judgmental, nosy, lonely, unfulfilled, and unkind lives- it is their right. I choose to be happy, to love, my wife and I are social workers because we want to help others, I believe in a unconditionally loving God . I do not believe it was an accident Jesus said not a single word about homosexuality ( and Leviticus - who did- was descried by Sts Paul and Peter) and I trust in the purpose of my very fulfilling and blessed life. Furthermore- I wish the same for everyone , yes even the people who wish to take all that away from me.

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15TB(1167 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

I Just Love How "Radical" Is Thrown Around So Freely If You Disagree With Some Bigot.

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16ANTIYOUNGSTOWN(251 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

Perhaps if we as a country were more aligned with the bible the country would be better off.

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17evanmm(3 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

Bigot:one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance . Trying to limit someones rights is treating them with hatred and intolerance . However- I did not call anyone a bigot , I said people are free to have bigoted feelings/ opinions (even parades and rallies) , to hate to be racist , sexist etc. People are free to feel any hatred, toward anyone - it should not impact the rights of the people they hate.

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18YtownParent(877 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

The SCOTUS decision is correct, in that the government cannot deny any benefits or protects based on their gender, which is what DOMA did. The real problem is that marriage is by and large a religious institution and as such is defined as between a man and a woman. Once the government was let into that institution and the church(es) relegated to the sidelines (by Henry VIII) the institution of marriage became subject to the legal systems that recognize, protect and deliver benefits based on one's participation in marriage.

The only way around it is to remove all legal recognitions, protects and especially benefits the states and feds grant parties to the institution of marriage. Eventually, some conservative religious person or group is going to get fed up enough to give up their tax break and sue on the basis that marriage is a religious institution and under the 1st Amendment the government has no business in it.

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19walter_sobchak(2513 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

So does a prospective couple go to a church or a courthouse to obtain their marriage license? It is most definitely a legal construct that has its origin in religion.

At this point, though, I have to agree about the benefits. The federal govt should abolish any preferential treatment afforded any married couple, most especially the joint tax return. Make everyone have to pay at the single rate. THAT uproar will get the laws changed permanently!

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20DwightK(1495 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

It's incredible that so many people with so much to say don't understand the court's decision. If someone were to ask some of you what color the sky is I'm sure you'd answer "42".

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21YtownParent(877 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

That's my point walt, marriage is recognized/sanctioned solely by the state, and as such the state cannot deny any protections or benefits. So DOMA proponents can either get all state protections and benefits removed by arguing in court that the government has no right to sanction a religious institution, or they could put forth a constitutional amendment. Neither will happen because it would take away one of the best fund raising tools right-wingers have. At this point an Amendment most likely wouldn't pass.

The same holds true with abortion. The right to lifers could have passed a constitutional amendment pretty easily anytime prior to 2000, but that would have cut of the fund raising stream and votes.

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22TB(1167 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

Do Us A Favor And Leave. Make Sure You Don't Look Over Your Shoulder On The Way Out js

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23LtMacGowan(695 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

Maybe the country would be better off if it was more closely aligned with the bible? Have you even read the bible? Its packed with genocide, rape, murder, and incest.

Nobody is saying you have to approve of homosexuality or endorse it stay away from them if you wish but they will have the same rights as any other American enjoys.

One thing is for sure I'd rather any future children of mine be exposed to the LGBT community than most people commenting here with their narrow views.

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24bumbob(145 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

Gay marriage will be legal nationwide soon. It's all part of equality. Congratulations to all.

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25Jerry(778 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

@Ytownparent: ".........as such the state cannot deny any protections or benefits."

So where do I go to get welfare benefits and food stamps? These are benefits offered by the state so, according to you, they cannot be denied to me (just because I don't need them)

The next time I need medical care, maybe I'll check out the benefits offered by the VA. They cannot be denied to me (just because I am not a military veteran)

Social Security disability benefits look pretty good too. They cannot be denied to me (just because I am not disabled).

My point-----We regularly choose arbitrary criteria for who does (and who does not) get certain benefits from the state. The criteria are generally based on society's perception of who needs the benefit and/or how society can benefit in return. We do this every day. You can disagree about the criteria someone else would establish for marital benefits offered by the state, and you can vote to change the criteria; but setting criteria and limiting benefits is not unusual or unconstitutional.

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26DSquared(1622 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

Uh, Excuse me, but what Catholic Parish does Mr Ryan belong to and who is the Pastor?

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27LtMacGowan(695 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

Equality is back on course. California has resumed gay marriages today.

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28ytowner007(3 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

Plain and simple; the loons are in charge. While the good folks of this country are working and raising families, the loons have snuck into positions of power and are mucking up every aspect of our life. I'm with Sobchak, glad I'm on the back 9. It's getting screwier and screwier by the day. I can't wait for the new reality series; gay divorce court. It's going to be great!

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29kurtw(1637 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

Perversion: noun, the alteration of something from its original course; sexual behavior that is considered abnormal or unacceptable. (Oxford English Dictionary).

It's hard not to draw the conclusion that the word "perversion" is a closer fit to homosexuality than "gay" or any of the other Orwellian euphemisms that political correctness forces upon us. "Sexual behavior that is considered abnormal or unacceptable"- isn't that what homosexuality is? Behavior that fits a certain description, should have that description applied to it, right?

Well, of course, it's not that easy any more. These days you can't just blurt out the truth and not expect to be punished for saying it. That's what Political Correctness is all about. The original practitioners of PC in the 20th Century were Vlad Lenin, A. Hitler, Chairman Mao- good people like that- and now we seem to be following in their footsteps- here in the country of Lincoln and Jefferson.

You can't speak the truth (about a protected minority) these days without risk of punishment, so, admitted coward that I am, I appreciate the Vindy website for granting me the opportunity to speak out risk free. If I had this published under Letters to the Editor, I might wake up one night to see my front lawn lit up with a burning- what? It wouldn't be a Cross, like in the old days, but, it would be something burning stiff and upright, with, maybe a bulbous base- anything suitable the Gay Night Riders could find to express their contempt for an opponent.

P.S. In a sane- "un-perverted" world- a Defense of Marriage Act- wouldn't be needed: no sane person would consider traditional heterosexual marriage as anything but what it is: the true cornerstone of society.

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30TB(1167 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

Enjoy The Day In Church Today Kurt. Be Sure To Really Pay Attention To The New Testament buddy

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