Supreme Court takes up same-sex marriage, DOMA


Reporter - Jason Hibbs
Photojournalist - Barry Stevenson
Web Editor - Mason Stevenson

PADUCAH, Ky. - A controversial topic reached the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday.  Justices heard testimony on California's Proposition 8, a law which makes same-sex marriage unconstitutional in the state.

But that's not the only issue the court agreed to deal with.  On Wednesday, they take up the Defense of Marriage Act.  That law bars the federal government from recognizing state-sanctioned, same-sex marriages and prevents same-sex couples from receiving federal benefits.

So how do lawmakers in the Local 6 area feel about the issues.

Surprisingly, their opinions are about as diverse as the people they represent.

"I have mixed feelings, in the sense I do believe the state should get to decide," Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky said.

Paul, who is against same-sex marriage, says California's same-sex marriage ban should be left alone, but states that support same-sex marriage should be too.

"If you believe states have the right to decide, you have to put up with the states that decide otherwise," Paul said.

Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill released a statement saying, "I have come to the conclusion that our government should not limit the right to marry based on who you love. While churches should never be required to conduct marriages outside of their religious beliefs, neither should the government tell people who they have a right to marry. "

A spokesperson for Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri says he "supports the Defense of Marriage Act." And  his "position has always been that he believes marriage is a union between one man and one woman, and he supports allowing people to have hospital visitation and other rights as part of a civil contract to help them lead the lives they choose."

A spokesperson from Senator Mitch McConnell's office says the senator is waiting to see what the Supreme Court decides, but he believes in traditional marriage between one man and one woman.

The court likely won't announce a decision on Proposition 8 or the Defense of Marriage Act until June.