Community Gathering to Explain Marriage Equality - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Community Gathering to Explain Marriage Equality

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PASCO, Wash.-  Same-sex couples across the country are celebrating Wednesday's Supreme Court decision, striking down a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act.

The Benton Franklin chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays sponsored a gathering at Columbia Basin College Thursday to help people understand exactly what happened.

Attorney Jill Mullins with the QLaw Foundation explained the federal benefits and that the decision does not change state laws that exclude same-sex marriage.

Now, gay married couples living in Washington state have the same federal privileges to all other married couple, like being able to access the others' retirement if they die.

"We're talking about peoples lives. We're talking about the relationships people have and really important things like whether or not somebody can visit their spouse in the hospital when they're sick. We're talking about whether or not both parents will be able to be involved in parenting decisions and access records," said Mullins.

Mullins says it's a big move toward marriage equality and eliminating discrimination.