Former Canfield resident among the crowd for same-sex marriage d - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Former Canfield resident among the crowd for same-sex marriage decision

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WASHINGTON, DC - The Supreme Court issued two major rulings on Wednesday on same-sex marriage.

The high court ruled the federal Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional and dismissed an attempt to revive California's same sex marriage ban.

The major ruling surrounds same-sex couples receiving federal benefits.

Former Canfield resident and Youngstown State University graduate Jordan Uhl, who currently resides in DC, witnessed the oral arguments in the DOMA case in March and was among the crowd for the decision on Wednesday.

He says the mood in DC leading up to the event was fairly tense, and the decisions were dominating the headlines.

"People were lined up around the corner, roughly 250 people, waiting and hoping to get in, including Sean Varsho and Melissa Wasser, two of my Moot Court teammates from YSU," Uhl says.

Uhl said by 9:30 a.m. there were over a few hundred people outside of the court; nearly everyone holding signs expressing their support of same-sex marriage. The mood changed quickly, though.

"Everyone was lively until right before 10 a.m. It was kind of funny, actually, everyone's heads went down. We were all on SCOTUSblog on our phones watching the live blog from their court reporter," Uhl says.

The first decision was DOMA. A few seconds of decision-making felt like hours to the crowd, until Justice Kennedy wrote for the 5-4 liberal majority.

This ruling means that legally married, same-sex couples will be recognized by the Federal Government in the same ways as heterosexual couples.

"The crowd erupted. We were all hugging each other, people were crying. It was absolutely breathtaking," Uhl says. "I was trying to tell someone how and why the court decided the way it did and I could barely get the words out. My heart was racing, and despite knowing the constitutional issues behind it, I struggled to relay it to the woman next to me."

Proposition 8 was the next ruling to be voted on, and Uhl says the crowd's eyes returned to their phones.

The Supreme Court ultimately dismissed the appeal on grounds that the court lacked standing to rule on the case.

The ruling allows same-sex marriages in California to resume.

There are currently 37 states that do not allow same-sex marriage. However, Uhl says Wednesday's rulings are a huge step in the right direction for the gay community.

"While I'm just an ally, I cannot fully understand how it must feel to know there's millions of other people actively trying to prevent them from marrying the person they love. To interfere with their most personal matters," Uhl says. 

"When I looked around and saw innocent, loving couples hugging and kissing each other, crying out of pure joy, I knew I was doing the right thing by supporting them. I know I'm on the right side of history."


 

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