Local Supporters Applaud Groundbreaking Same-Sex Marriage Decision
KREX News Room
CLIFTON, Colo.- In a groundbreaking decision, the Supreme Court has overturned the Defense of Marriage Act, allowing legally married same-sex couples the same federal benefits as heterosexual couples.
This ruling is being seen as huge a victory for supporters of same-sex marriage.
“I was so excited that I started crying,” said Heidi Hess, Western Slope field organizer for One Colorado. “Literally, started crying.”
For Hess, this monumental ruling is a dream come true.
She worked feverishly in the past to fight for the recent passage of the Colorado Civil Union Act and says the decision to overturn DOMA will make a big difference in a shift in our country.
“People know people who are gay now. It’s not these people that are out there that are coming that no one knows” said Hess. “It affects a lot of people because we all have family and friends.”
Hess has been following the case closely, listening to the questions the Supreme Court Justices were asking.
“I kind of predicted that they were going to overturn it in this way,” said Hess. “And not doing a sweeping overturn of all DOMA laws.”
Meaning, this DOMA ruling doesn't necessarily impact Colorado just yet due to a state amendment that prohibits same sex marriages.
However, officials with Western Equality say it's still a milestone.
"This year we passed our Civil Union Bill which excited everybody,” said Jerry Shelton, board president of Western Equality. “We're still reeling from that excitement. This excitement just builds that even more."
Hess adds this may just be the thing needed to now put the pump on the gas for marriage equality in Colorado.
Officials say these federal benefits are still being worked out and it will come down to how the president's administration implements this new appeal.