News / USA

New Yorkers React to Supreme Court Gay Marriage Rulings

Members of the LGBT community and their supporters gather to celebrate two decisions by US Supreme Court during rally in New York's Greenwich Village June 26, 2013
Members of the LGBT community and their supporters gather to celebrate two decisions by US Supreme Court during rally in New York's Greenwich Village June 26, 2013
Adam Phillips
The latest U.S. Supreme Court rulings on gay marriage have been welcomed by many Americans, but not all.

In Manhattan’s Greenwich Village neighborhood, Ken Kidd stood resplendent in a hot pink suit and tie, and celebrated Wednesday's Supreme Court rulings.

Kevin Kidd (Adam Phillips-VOA)Kevin Kidd (Adam Phillips-VOA)
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Kevin Kidd (Adam Phillips-VOA)
Kevin Kidd (Adam Phillips-VOA)
"I’m euphoric...It gives me hope and I never thought I’d live to see this day," he said.  "It’s never the end of the story.  There are 37 states that have their own fights to fight.  Once they get recognized in their states, they do have full national freedom, they are entitled to the same 11-hundred plus rights that their heterosexual counterparts have in marriage.  It’s huge, absolutely huge.  I’m still just a little bit in shock, actually."

Underground in a subway car, a young immigrant named Nadia rejected the idea that homosexuals should be treated differently than other citizens.  
 
“They’re just people!  As people, they do have right like the rest of us.  Marriage is one of those rights.  I don’t know many people who are against.  Most of the people I know that are against it are older,” Nadia said.

A few seats down, a high school student named Spencer sat with his friends and seconded the point.

“My parents are actually against same same-sex marriage.  They are Christian so they don’t believe in it, but I have to disagree with them on this one.  I think it should be legal," he said.

Above ground, a young Christian woman said she supported the idea of civil unions for gays, but not state-sanctioned marriage, per se.  

"I think the term marriage is a biblical term.  I mean the biblical view is of marriage is between a man and a woman.  One man, one woman," she said.  

"I think that the government, the direction it’s going, is creating disunity among the people and they are utilizing these hot topics to create disunity.  In the long run it’s not going to really matter.  It’s going to matter whether we actually love one another or not.  And that is in itself what people need to focus on," she added

Tim Nissen (Adam Phillips-VOA)Tim Nissen (Adam Phillips-VOA)
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Tim Nissen (Adam Phillips-VOA)
Tim Nissen (Adam Phillips-VOA)
In a nearby pizza restaurant, Tim Nissen put down his slice to assert that technically, marital status should be a strictly secular matter.

“Consenting adults should be at liberty to do what they want as long it’s not harming anybody else. Religious people may use the word ‘marriage,’ but there is a legal definition of it in our country, and the law should apply equally to everybody.  That’s something that conservatives and liberals can agree on,” Nissen said.

Two construction workers, also on their lunch break, offered their opinions.

WORKER #1: "Why shouldn’t they get married?  They should be miserable just like I am, right?
WORKER #2: Let them live their lives and whatever is going to make them happy.  So be it.  I have nothing against them.
REPORTER: What do you think about people who say it’s against God’s law and all that?
WORKER: There are too many gods for me to judge.  If they feel comfortable with what they’re doing and they don’t hurt or harm anybody in the interim, I give them my blessing."

Although the U.S. Supreme Court rulings do not offer a definitive judgment on whether same-sex partners have the same constitutional right to marry as opposite sex partners do, advocates of legalized same-sex marriage were universally heartened by the news, and promised to continue their fight at the ballot box, in the courts and in the streets.

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