Lubbock LGBT groups thrilled with Supreme Court decision - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Lubbock LGBT groups thrilled with Supreme Court decision

Jesse Saldivar is the co-president of PFLAG Lubbock Jesse Saldivar is the co-president of PFLAG Lubbock

It was a close decision, but in a 5 to 4 vote, the Supreme Court has ruled that the 1996 Defense Against Marriage Act is unconstitutional. It's a decision that has some in Lubbock singing the court's praises.

"I think that everyone can hold their heads a little bit higher today knowing after the rulings that have been issued we know that the future is going to be a bit more bright rather than a little bit dark," Jesse Saldivar said.

Saldivar is the co-president of PFLAG Lubbock, a group that is made up of the parents, families and friends of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. He waited anxiously for the Supreme Court decision this morning and when the ruling was finally announced, he was elated.

"I feel like this is a huge milestone in the fact that we've had some judicial recognition's illegal to discriminate against LGBT individuals," he said.

Saldivar came out of the closet during his freshman year of high school, something that was met with apprehension by his parents and friends, but he hopes today's ruling will help same sex couples to be more accepted in our country.

"It will shine a little bit more light on where the future is headed and hopefully it will guide Lubbock and Texas and a lot of other conservative areas to be more accepting towards LGBT individuals," Saldivar said.

Lubbock attorney Fernando Bustos says today's ruling is purely federal - meaning a same sex couple from Lubbock could get married in a state like Minnesota and come back to Lubbock and still receive federal benefits.

"If they got married in a state that recognizes same sex marriage, then they will have those benefits for purposes of federal law, but it really won't upset states that choose to have a different definition of marriage," he said.

Bustos emphasized that state's rights were a key part of the decision. The justices said this is not mandating all states to accept gay marriage, but recognizes all those from states where it is legal

Bustos feels that this is only the first of many future that could make gay marriage nationwide:

"I think if the court continues to get more gay marriage challenges, then they're going to probably find that laws that ban gay marriage, wherever they've been found in the United States are going to be unconstitutional under the equal protection clause."

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