(Memphis) In a landmark decision, the US Supreme struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage in the U.S. as being between a man and woman.
Supporters of the move say this paves the way for people to marry whomever they please, regardless of gender, while others say this move will permanently scar the traditional family.
Supporters of what the Supreme Court did today say the right to marry is a civil human right, but the Coalition of African-American Pastors is angrily speaking out saying the gay community is using their struggle to pass marriage equality.
“The civil rights movement was hijacked. What we went through for several hundred years and what we fought for and they went to our playbook and it’s not over yet,” said Reverend William Owens, president of the Coalition of African-American Pastors.
Rev. Owens says he is disappointed in the Supreme Court’s decision because the justices didn’t take children into account when making their decision and what he perceives to be a child’s rights.
“Our children are being left out of the equation. A child has the right to be raised in a loving home by a mother and a father,” said Rev. Owens.
Bishop David Hall says the basic building block of the country is the family and marriage as defined by the Bible, and he believes the family unit is being dangerously altered because of leaders in Washington like President Barack Obama who support same-sex marriage.
“He’s leading America wrongly with the support of the Supreme Court,” said Bishop Hall.
Gay rights advocate Will Batts says Owens and others who don’t support what the Supreme Court did are on the wrong side of history and he’s not letting them dampen his excitement.
“I honestly didn’t believe this would happen in my lifetime. We would be this far along in marriage equality. We have been fighting for this for a long time, and I’m really ecstatic,” said Batts, who is also executive director of the Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center.
Batts says now he and his husband can start to apply for federal benefits.
He says there are 1,200 benefits straight couples have been eligible for that gay couples were not.