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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Gay Rights advocates celebrated Supreme Court rulings in Kansas


Wichita Peace and Freedom Party Examiner:

Even before the US Supreme Court ruling on gay rights, rallies were planned across Kansas for gay rights activists and supporters to gather and react to whatever the ruling would be. In Wichita, the rally was held downtown in front of the Warren Theater Square.
The court effectively struck down Proposition 8 in California and the federal Defense of Marriage Act or DOMA. This ruling makes gay marriage legal in the state of California and the court also struck down federal restrictions on gay couples.
“We were elated with two big wins,” said Thomas Witt, executive director of the Kansas Equality Coalition. “But they are not giant wins. There is still some ambiguity with DOMA and how federal benefits will be treated. There is some vagueness and confusion to the ruling. There will probably be some litigation.”
There were a few hundred people at the Wichita rally and many carried the rainbow flags.
“We didn’t know about the decision until right before the rally,” Witt said. “The Supreme Court is very leak proof.”
According to The New York Times;
“The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and injure those whom the state, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity,” Justice (Anthony) Kennedy wrote. “By seeking to displace this protection and treating those persons as living in marriages less respected than others, the federal statute is in violation of the Fifth Amendment.”
“It’s a victory but we still have a long way to go,” 
Witt added. “As I said yesterday at the rally, a person can still be fired here in Kansas for being gay. There is protection against other forms of discrimination but not for sexual orientation.”
Rallies were also held in other Kansas towns including Hutchinson, Kansas City, Lawrence, Salina, Manhattan, Dodge City and Topeka. Rallies were also held in major cities across the country according to The Washington Post.

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