Local reaction split over same-sex marriage rulings

While news of the U.S. Supreme Court rulings spread across the country, same-sex couples in Michiana rejoiced in the victory. But, some religious leaders are speaking out against the decisions.

Newlyweds David Seymour and Joel Barrett felt some uncertainty Wednesday morning as they awaited the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act.

“I was prepared for not the brightest news,” Seymour said.

After seven years together, Seymour and Barrett decided to marry. They traveled to New York for the ceremony, and then celebrated with friends and family back in South Bend.

“It felt more momentous than we imagined,” Barrett said. “It felt good to wear that ring.”

So, when the decision was announce both of them felt that the wedding bands on their hands symbolized a union that was no longer treated as “less than” by the U.S. government.

“Marriage equality is finally getting the acceptance it deserves,” Seymour said.

But, there are others who say same sex couples do not merit that kind of recognition.

“It’s ridiculous,” said Pastor Kenneth Mendenhall of the United Pentecostal Church. “If you had asked me ten years ago ‘Can this happen?’ I would have said not in America.”

Mendenhall sees the ruling as a sign that the country is moving toward an immoral path.

“If you believe in the bible, you know it’s wrong,” he said.

It is a faith-based stance that couples like Seymour and Barrett say must adapt to current-day realities.

“This is just another part of the evolution,” Barrett said. “Everything is not as black and white as we always thought. There is a little more gray.”

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