DOMA ruling sees split locally

By Christina Calloway

PNT senior writer

Bill Cathey says he’s not looking forward to the possibility of same-sex couples getting married right here in town at the courthouse.

The Roosevelt County commissioner says he was disappointed with the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision on Wednesday to kill the Defense of Marriage Act, a law that denied federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples.

Cathey says the decision was a step in the wrong direction.

“I just believe what God says in the Bible is true, that marriage should be between one man and one woman,” Cathey said. “I’m afraid states are going to be trying to allow a few people to be pushing for homosexual marriage and it will be a battle in every state.”

Cathey says he’s hoping he won’t see the day where the Roosevelt County Clerk will be authorized to sign marriage licenses for same-sex marriages.

He feels the Supreme Court was split in its vote because of who President Barack Obama appointed.

“If he would have appointed more conservative people instead of the two liberal ones we got, I believe it could have easily been a 6-3 vote (against the repeal),” Cathey said.

Anne Jezek, an adjunct faculty member at Eastern New Mexico University, said she cried tears of joy when she woke up Wednesday morning when she heard about the Supreme Court’s decision.

“I’m so happy and relieved that my friends and family are legitimized by the government now,” Jezek said.

Jezek says several people she cares about are a part of the gay community. She hopes the end of DOMA will have an effect on New Mexico’s lawmakers.

“I hope the New Mexico government can see that it’s unconstitutional to deny people the right to marry and I hope it progresses marriages for the gay community in New Mexico,” Jezek said.

z U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., said he was proud to support legislation to repeal DOMA because he believed it was indeed unconstitutional, and is glad to see this discriminatory policy put behind us.

“(Wednesday’s) ruling by the Supreme Court reflects the growing progress made for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals around the country. Striking down the Defense of Marriage Act is a victory for thousands of loving, committed families who have been denied equality under the law for too long and will now be rightly treated as the full and equal citizens they are.

“I was proud to support legislation to repeal DOMA because I believed it was indeed unconstitutional, and I am glad to see this discriminatory policy put behind us.”

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