Supreme Court's rulings on gay marriage strike a nerve in Cobb
by Rachel Miller
June 27, 2013 12:19 AM | 5451 views | 18 18 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Area politicians and religious leaders vowed to continue the fight against gay marriage, despite Wednesday’s Supreme Court decision to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act in a 5-4 decision.

The ruling sets the stage, in some states, for same-sex couples to receive the same rights and benefits from the government and their employers that are available to heterosexual marriage partners, which local civil rights lawyers and young Democrats say is a trend that will have to be addressed in Georgia.

Former U.S. Rep. Bob Barr, who represented Georgia in Congress from 1995 to 2003, authored and sponsored the Defense of Marriage Act, which was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996 and defines marriage as a legal union between a man and woman.

Barr, who will be running for U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey’s 11th Congressional District seat in 2014, stands by this traditional view of marriage.

“I personally believe marriage should be defined as between one man and one woman and, if it were on the ballot in Georgia, I’d vote that way,” Barr said.

Barr has recently limited his support of the act, saying an overarching federal declaration about marriage rights violates powers given by the Constitution to individual states.

“I trust the judgment of the people of Georgia more than that of Washington, D.C.,” he said.

State fight brewing?

While the Supreme Court’s ruling prohibits the federal government from barring same-sex marriage, it also emphasizes that the individual states should be the final arbiter in how marriage is defined.

Johnathon Murphy of the North Georgia Rainbow Coalition said the ruling was not surprising, but still “an enormous victory” that gives equal justice under the federal law.

“The work is just beginning on a state level,” Murphy said.

The Georgia Republican Party issued a statement Wednesday that it would continue to “promote, protect, and preserve traditional marriage for future generations.”

Chairman John Padgett said it is an issue worth fighting for because “marriage is a sacred institution created by God, not by the federal government.”

The Catholic Archbishop of Atlanta, Wilton Gregory, also released a statement Wednesday about the severe implications of the Supreme Court’s decision.

“The future of marriage and the well-being of our society hang in the balance,” Gregory said.

Gregory said the Catholic Church will continue to teach that marriage is “a lifelong, exclusive, and fruitful communion of one man and one woman.”

Young Republicans weigh in

Joe Pettit, chairman of the Cobb County Young Republicans, who lives in Vinings, said his charter has no specific stance on gay marriage.

Pettit said the diversity of the more than 50 individuals that comprises the group ranges from individuals that are very socially conservative to more libertarian-minded.

“Young people as a whole are more of a ‘stay out of my personal life, stay out of my pocket book’ attitude,” Pettit said.

Pettit said that although Wednesday’s ruling was based on a fight for insurance coverage, tax status and medical benefits, he does not see gay marriage as a fiscal issue.

He said the Cobb County Young Republicans are more focused on the “extremely bad example” the federal government has set in incurring debt, and the importance of debt and deficit reduction.

Representing the other side of the area’s young professionals, from 18 to 41, is the Young Democrats of Cobb County.

President of the Young Democrats of Cobb County, Tiffany Fannin, who lives in Austell, said the Supreme Court’s decision is a great step toward equality and hopes Georgia will legalize gay marriage.

“(It) will allow for other states to take the needed step to jump into the same position,” Fannin said.

Fannin said she believes there is a trend of accepting gay rights by younger generations and that “lawmakers are starting to get on board.”

Possible future implications

With the Supreme Court ruling individual states can still choose whether to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, the decision protects Georgia’s constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

Civil rights attorney Carrie Fiedler, who opened the Fiedler & Associates firm at 191 Roswell St. almost five years ago, said Georgia will have to address gay marriage as couples from other states move to the area.

She said custody issues and divorces will be litigated in Georgia courts that will have to decide the legitimacy of same-sex unions the federal government will now be recognizing.

“People are living as (non-traditional) families and they need to be treated by the law as families,” Fiedler said.

She said the end result for each state could be more of a middle ground on the issue.

This compromised position could impact local businesses through the Family Medical Leave Act, which allows loved ones to request time off from their job to care for a sick family member.

Wednesday’s ruling will impact people’s lives that are facing specific situations, such as a person’s medical treatment or after-death care being decided on by a same-sex partner, or a same-sex couple having more access to adopting a child, Fiedler said.

“The modern version of what we determine to be a family is different than a traditional version,” Fiedler said.

 

Comments
(18)
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Mike Holmgren
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June 28, 2013
You can now marry the one you love. How about marrying a cow or favorite pig. In any event this development will lead to legaized poligomy.
alone atedreas
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June 27, 2013
Funny the only time I see the word "hate" is from gay supporters. That's funny, ain't it? When a man pops out a baby or a woman contributes sperm, get back to us then. That doesn't make me a hater. For now, ride off to California. They left the light on for ya'.

Guy Bailey
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June 27, 2013
one more thing - if Marriage is so sacred, why is divorce legal?
Guy Bailey
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June 27, 2013
Would an ice cream sundae taste even sweeter if gay people were not allowed to eat it?

Now that's top metaphoring.
Watcher...
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June 27, 2013
Chick-Fil-A's, Dan Cathy Tweet of yesterday:

'SAD DAY FOR OUR NATION; FOUNDING FATHERS WOULD BE ASHAMED':

Well said!
Sean D
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June 27, 2013
Focus on the business of fast food and killing chickens. Stay out of my private life and I will stay out of your restaurants!
HumanNotCheney
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June 27, 2013
I'm sure the founding fathers, like all rationally minded people, would be fine with gay marriage. Gay marriage has no effect on you, except in your narrow mind. All people should have the same rights, please abandon the hate and get on with your life.
Loving Rights...
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June 27, 2013
Founding Fathers ashamed????? Really????? The same group of people that enslaved others? Ha!

At one point, it was illegal for blacks to get married. At one point, it was illegal for interracial couples to get married. Today, in 2013, we are still fighting for people to have equal rights. Yes, they should be ashamed. The document they wrote centuries ago still has not been accomplished. I would be ashamed too....

Too funny
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June 27, 2013
Cathy must be afraid to stand behind his bigotry. Looks like he deleted it.
Dwills4gayrights
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June 27, 2013
You people need to get a grip... This is the 21st century. Take your backwoods beliefs elsewhere. As a gay man, I dare someone to look me in the face and tell me that my life is more a sin than your judgemental views. And as for the church, you would think they would have read the bible with a broader mind... There is a gay couple in the bible, pay attention!
D.G. in Clarkdale
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June 28, 2013
The founding fathers I'm sure never imagined or dreamed in their nightmares that degenerates would use the term "equality" to attempt to redefine the institution of marriage.
surprised?
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June 27, 2013
The Georgia Republican Party adds Gay Marriages and Gays in general to the list of things they are working to repeal such as literacy, Suffrage, Emancipation, and the loss of the Civil War. Who is surprised?
D.G. in Clarkdale
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June 27, 2013
Its sad indeed when we see our Republic slipping into the abyss of moral depravity and like previous civilizations will pay a very heavy price for allowing such to undermine scared institutions under the guise of equality.
PeaceBwithU
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June 27, 2013
"undermine scared institutions"

There is no need to be afraid. Love really is love.

D.G. in Clarkdale
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June 27, 2013
*sacred
Too funny
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June 27, 2013
"moral depravity" - explain this please.
D.G. in Clarkdale
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June 28, 2013
@ Too Funny, "moral depravity" - explain this please."



To put it simply, "Moral Depravity" is willful wickedness, voluntary self-interest, self- gratification for its own sake, contrary to moral laws, not the laws of men, its being against the laws of God. When I refer to the "Republic" slipping into moral depravity, its willful disobedience to what is moral, decent and good by those individuals who make up the same. So when an "enlightened"/"evolved"(sic) President, Supreme Court Justice or elected Representative supports gay rights(sic), he/she are practicing moral depravity as well....
BG in Cali
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June 30, 2013
I totally agree. They have now turned the truth into a lie and made a lie into their truths:

New International Version (©2011)

They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised. Amen.

English Standard Version (©2001)

because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

New American Standard Bible (©1995)

For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)

Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

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