LGBTQ members in New York react to the latest Supreme Court announcement regarding the Defense of Marriage Act. YNN's Alexandra Weishaupt has more on the issue that has become a national dialogue.
KINGSTON, N.Y. -- The Supreme Court announced Friday it will consider the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, also known as DOMA.
“The mere fact that the Supreme Court is taking it up suggests strongly that this is an issue that’s percolated to the top,” said Founder of LGBTQ Center in Kingston, Ginny Apuzzo.
Apuzzo says having marriage equality issues elevated to a national platform is a step in the right direction for the gay community.
“The activity of the community around this, the change in the atmosphere that’s taken place across the country in regards to same sex marriage is phenomenal,” said Apuzzo.
The court will hear two cases that challenge current state and federal marriage law, including same-sex marriage and benefits to same-sex married couples.
The case from New York is challenging the current federal law that requires the government to deny benefits to married same-sex couples.
“As more and more states recognize gay marriage more and more individuals are going to be impacted by the defensive marriage act,” said Legal Analyst, Paul DerOhannesian.
“My partner could get my Social Security when I die. These are issues that are critical. They are bread and butter issues, so it’s a very, very important issue to be taken up," said Apuzzo.
The other case out of California covers the issue of whether or not there is a right to a same-sex marriage. However, a ruling could also apply only to marriages in California.
“For that reason it’s less clear whether the supreme court will want to weigh into the entire broad question, is there a constitutional right of gay marriage,” said DerOhannesian.
In May, President Obama publicly announced his support for same-sex marriage.
Decisions in all cases are expected in June and the gay community in Ulster County is feeling confident.
“The issue of marriage, we’re going to get it, it may not be this round, but we’re gonna get it,” said Apuzzo.