HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – The Supreme Court decision affording couples in same-sex marriages the same federal benefits as heterosexual couples, marked a major victory in the GLBT community’s fight for equal marriage rights in the United States
Wednesday evening they gathered for an impromptu celebration in Big Spring Park.
But the celebration also highlighted the battles left to be fought.
“We got a piece of the pie, but I want the whole pie,” said Alix Moorehouse, who has been with her wife for 20 years. Four years ago they were legally married in Connecticut, but that marriage is not recognized in Alabama.
“I didn’t expect it to change anything. That’s part of why we did it,” said Moorehouse. “We saw the bricks tumbling, we still are convinced the wall is going to fall and that Alabama is going to recognize our marriage.”
However, that hope is mixed with frustration.
“If a heterosexual couple got married in Connecticut then crossed the Alabama state line and found out their marriage didn’t count, what kind of outrage would there be?” Moorehouse asked the crowd of GLBT supporters and advocates.
Her question was answered with a booming “Outrage!” from the crowd.
Retired Reverend Felicia Fontaine has been with her wife, Barbara, for 34 years. On their 20th anniversary they were legally married in Vermont. For the couple, the lack of federal protections has plagued them all their adult lives.
“I went through multiple sclerosis and breast cancer without health insurance,” said Fontaine. “So this fight is about love, recognizing love in whatever form it takes, but it’s also about cold hard cash.”
Fontaine is a former leader in the Metropolitan Community Church. For those in the religious community who have expressed outrage at the Supreme Court Decision, she has only one thing to say:
“Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”
Fontaine and Barbara, along with Moorehouse and Lisa,see same-sex marriage as simply equality under the law. Not an affront to religion.
“I have to say this, I don’t want to force a Baptist minister or an Imam or a Rabbi or anybody else to marry a same-sex couple or even honor our marriage,” said Moorehouse. “But by the same token, my minister in the United Church of Christ should have the freedom to marry any couple he sees fit to be married.”
Not everyone agrees with Moorehouse. Governor Bentley released a statement saying he believes marriage should only be between a man and a woman.
Alabama Republican Party Chairman Bill Armistead also expressed his displeasure with the ruling, calling it “an affront to the Christian principles that this nation was founded on,” and accusing the federal government of “hijacking marriage, a uniquely religious institution.”