Public Response to Supreme Court DOMA Ruling - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Public Response to Supreme Court DOMA Ruling

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KENNEWICK, Wash.-- The U.S. Supreme Court ruling knocking down part of the Defense of Marriage Act is igniting joy among gay rights supporters and dissent among people who disagree with gay marriage.

"It's a huge deal. I spent an hour probably this morning crying, watching the news, thinking wow, I'm treated equally under the law," said Mark Lee Tri-Cities community activist.

The Supreme Court ruling to knock down part of the DOMA and now provide legally married gay couples with the same federal benefits as other couples, is sparking a strong response from the public.

"I'm personally related to a couple of gay people and I believe that their rights and what they should be allowed to do, coincides with what the court has decided," said Nancy Young.

"It's unfair if they don't have those same rights. It's just unfair," said Thelma Shoemaker.

"They're gay people. It's against my religious beliefs that they should get the same as we do. I'm against it," said John Jackson.

When it comes down to the details though, the benefits only stand in states that recognize gay marriage.

"Straight couples when they get married and gay couples when they get married, their marriages are equal in terms of states rights and federal rights, but that's only in the states you can get married in," Lee said.

The benefits do not apply to domestic partnerships, but in Washington on June 30th, 2014 all gay domestic partnerships will become marriages for couples under age 62.

If you want to learn more about Wednesday's court ruling, there's an event Thursday night at 7pm at Columbia Basin College that will break down the details of the DOMA decision.