West Michigan LGBT community reacts to Supreme Court ruling
Caroline MacGregor June 27, 2013 | WGVU The Supreme
Court’s decision Wednesday to strike down a provision of the federal Defense of
Marriage Act or DOMA which will make more than one thousand federal benefits available to married same-sex couples and a ruling on Prop 8 that allows gay marriage to resume in California
is considered a huge victory in the LGBT community.
“I honestly, at first, I wasn't sure - I didn't know if it was really that huge of a victory but I think it's sort of a monumental victory, I think it's a really big deal."
Croff, an MSU graduate and urban planner with a government agency in downtown Muskegon.
While still no change to Michigan’s ban on same sex marriage passed by voters in
2004, Croff, who is gay, is pleasantly surprised by local reaction to the rulings.
“It was funny because a friend from the east side of the state asked me, 'How is conservative West Michigan reacting to the news?' and I said, you know, I work among a lot of professionals here in downtown Muskegon and most of the people I spoke with were happy DOMA was struck down and we are not narrowly defining a marriage as between one man and one woman.”
city of Muskegon and Muskegon County have been petitioned to add protections
for LGBT individuals.
Zimmerman works for a small non-profit that carries out community development
work in downtown Muskegon.
Currently single with two children from a previous
heterosexual marriage, Zimmerman tried for years to fit into the traditional one
man-one woman idea of marriage as well as the ideals of her church but could no longer deny her
"My goal in my life is not to make everybody believe it's okay to be gay and I don't want to fight to be who I am but what I do want to do is help people to gain mutual respect; you don't have to like my lifestyle but you do have to respect me, that's what it's about."
make it possible for same-sex couples to jointly file tax returns as well as apply
for other benefits including Social Security.
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