Same sex marriage debate continues - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Same sex marriage debate continues

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Terry Dixon said what the whole debate boils down to is equality. Terry Dixon said what the whole debate boils down to is equality.

The issue of same sex marriage continues to be a hot topic in Washington. 

The federal law, passed in 1996, defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Same sex couples are not eligible for federal financial benefits that heterosexual couples receive, like social security and pensions.

"There shouldn't be a debate about it. We're human just like everyone else. We need to have the same rights as everyone else," said Terry Dixon. 

He has been with his partner for 17 years.  He said what the whole debate boils down to is equality.

"Anything that applies to any other person in the world should apply to us," he said.   

Supreme Court Justices are considering whether the Defense of Marriage Act is discriminatory, which would make it unconstitutional because it keeps the federal government from acknowledging legally married same sex couples. 

Supporters of DOMA say changing it would threaten the sanctity of marriage.  

"This is going to be a very significant ruling, and what they do will certainly impact the state of Alabama," said Huntsville Attorney Mark McDaniel.   

After hearing both oral arguments this week, the Supreme Court will choose whether or not to make a ruling on the future of marriage.

That decision is expected by late June.

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