Crowds celebrate Supreme Court gay marriage rulings - CBS46 News

Crowds celebrate Supreme Court gay marriage rulings

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After The U.S. Supreme Court announced its rulings on two cases involving gay marriage, groups of gay rights activists and supporters took to the streets of Midtown to celebrate.

The Supreme Court struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, that denied federal benefits to married gay couples. The court also ruled that it could not make a decision on the case of the voter-approved Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in California, after a California court ruled it unconstitutional.

Atlantan Seth Persily went to the rally at Piedmont and 10th Street with his partner, Nathan Persily, and twins.

"We're here to celebrate, but at the same time we weren't legally affected yet in Georgia," Persily said. "We're not fully married. Our family still doesn't have equal protection."

Persily said he and his partner were wed in a ceremony in Piedmont Park seven years ago by a local rabbi, but isn't legal.

"We consider ourselves married in every way," Persily said. "The fact that the law doesn't recognize it is unfortunate, but days like today make us realize that's changing soon."

The senior pastor at St. Mark United Methodist Church in Atlanta, Beth LaRocca-Pitts, also came out to the celebration. She said she supports the Supreme Court decision, even though her faith doesn't support gay marriage.

"In the Methodist church, gay people are not allowed to marry - I'm not allowed to do same-sex weddings at my church," LaRocca-Pitts said. "But I'm part of a group within the Methodist church that's working for change of those legal restrictions. For anybody who cherishes freedom of religion, separation of church and state, this is a marvelous decision – both decisions were just great."

Others, like a woman named Miko, who did not want to give her last name, believe marriage should legally be between a man and a woman. Miko took her children to a Bible study at Piedmont Park, not far from the rally.

"That is what it says in the book, but you can't tell nobody what to do if it's going to be a free country," Miko said.

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