One day after U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder promises same-sex married couples similar rights and benefits as opposite sex couples, people on both sides of the issue are speaking out.
“We [should] have the same rights that other people should be able to have, and at the present time we don’t,” Rev. Patrick Rogers said speaking to the Pensacola City Council back in November 2013.
The group would eventually vote to allow domestic partnerships the following month.
For the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered (LGBT) community- and it’s members like Rogers- it was a win.
But, one could argue it was just a small one in the grand scheme of things.
“This issue is really about validation of relationships, it’s not about biblical interpretation,” Rogers said. “Myself, I have been in a 23-year relationship with a same-sex partner, so I really know about all the obstacles that get the in the way of just leading a normal, happy life.”
But now, three months later, Holder’s announcement may mean an LGBT victory on a much larger scale.
“Our nation has made great strides on the road to LGBT equality,” Holder said. “A cause that I believe is a defining civil rights challenge of our time.”
“Initially, my first thought was, ‘it’s about time,” said LGBT member Tammy Tomasek.
“He’s progressive,” Rogers agreed. “I really admire him.”
“And then I thought, ‘What a great guy.’ There’s just so many different emotions, because these times are changing, and it’s going to happen,” Tomasek added. ”And I think that he’s not the only one changing his mind.”
But many aren’t budging on the issue, like former congressional candidate Dean Young, a proud supporter of Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore.
“We need men like him of character to stand up and say ‘Hey, marriage is between a man and woman.’ And that’s the way it always has been, and that’s the way it is today, and that’s the way it always will be,” Young said.
Moore recently mailed letters to every governor in the nation, to rally support for a federal constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages.
“I expect that the legislatures will respond accordingly,” Moore said. “We’ve got about 31 states already with constitutional amendments- or state laws- restricting a marriage to a man and a woman, so I think that these legislatures should respond, wanting a constitutional amendment to do the same.”
“If we can’t get our nation back to the godly principles that made our nation great, we’re going to lose our country as we know it,” Young agreed.
Rogers said Moore’s efforts are too little too late.
“We can see right now the president of our country validates the relationships, the Supreme Court of our country validated the relationships, and like one-third of the states now have validated the relationships, so at some point in a battle you have to just realize that it’s over,” Rogers said.
“Oh, we’re not fighting a losing battle, we’re retaining the morality of our country,” Moore answered. “And of course, this is a new change that they’re trying t push on our country, so this is a way that people can respond to it.”
“I think he’s a minority,” Tomasek said of Moore’s comments. ”I think that the times are changing and people are recognizing that we are human beings. And they had better hold on tight because we’re not going anywhere.”
Monday, February 10, a policy memo will be sent to employees of the Justice Department. It will instruct them to give legal, same-sex marriages full and equal recognition.