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CINCINNATI - Local gays and lesbians celebrated the Supreme Court decisions that gave married couples the same federal rights and benefits as heterosexual couples and advanced gay marriage, even if they didn't make it legal in Ohio, Kentucky or Indiana.
Kim and Karen Morgan of Mason, a lesbian couple who have been together for 11 years, are not married but told 9 On Your Side's Jay Warren they took the same last name in hopes of marrying legally some day.
"For me, fairness is really important - that people get treated fairly - and that's all that this is about is equal treatment under the law," Karen Morgan said.
Both feel change is happening faster than they thought it would.
"I know for the next generation - our children - I think things would be easier or be more equal, it would be no big deal," Kim Morgan said. "But really I didn't think 15, maybe 20 years, that we would see these things."
Chris Seelbach, Cincinnati's first openly gay city council member, said he was "very happy and excited" about the Supreme Court rulings. He said he thinks they model the direction that the country is headed, 9 On Your Side's Mekialaya White reported.
Selbeech believes LGBT Americans deserve the same rights under the law as every American.
"I think that it is unfair and unjust to say that we should judge people under the law differently just because of who they love," Seelbach said. "I think that is the opinion of the majority of this country, and while we respect one's personal or religious beliefs when it comes to government and the law that the government creates, it's not fair to judge someone based on their sexual orientation."
Both sides of the issue agree that the battle over the definition of marriage and the rights that go with it will continue to be fought in the states. Ohio and Kentucky have same-sex marriage bans written into the constitution whereas Indiana banned it by state statute.
"There's a win for state's rights, plain and simple," said Charles Tassell of Citizens for Community Values, a group that championed the gay marriage ban in Ohio. "The court, whether it was in DOMA or Prop 8, kicked it back to the states and said the states are the proper venue for issues of marriage."
Tassell doesn't see enough support in Ohio for a vote to overturn the marriage amendment.
"The marriage amendment is still supported in Ohio by right around 58-59 percent, so I'm not looking at a whole bunch of momentum moving forward in Ohio. That's still pretty strong support by Ohioans for the definition of marriage being one man and one woman," Tassell said.
As Cincinnati readies for this weekend's Gay Pride Parade, Justin Fisher of Cincinnati said people should live and let live.
"I feel like everyone has their own choice and who am I to tell someone they can't get married," Fisher said as he walked by Fountain Square.
"I think people need to stop thinking there is only one way to do something," said Jack Seiter.
Read the Supreme Court decision on the Defense of Marriage act at https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/717929-supreme-court-decision-on-defense-of-marriage-act.html
Read the Supreme Court decision on California Proposition 8 at https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/717928-supreme-court-decision-on-california-proposition-8.html
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