Louisville students react to Prop 8 and DOMA


by Gene Kang


Posted on March 27, 2013 at 3:18 PM

Updated Thursday, Mar 28 at 10:30 AM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Wednesday was the second day the U.S. Supreme Court considered a potentially landmark decision about gay marriage and DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act). The act states that marriage is only between a man and a woman. Now it’s up for debate along with federal benefits that come along with it.

There is huge push by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender supporters via social media. Have you seen the red equal symbol on Facebook and Twitter? It has brought attention to the divided debate over gay marriage and benefits.

Photos: Red equality symbols go viral on social media

Young minds on the University of Louisville’s campus are talking about the movement. They are among the first generation in history to witness gay marriage and legal benefits argued before the US Supreme Court. Thanks to social media, this red Human Rights Campaign symbol has popped up everywhere.

"It's a really powerful way of saying this is what I support and this is what I believe in," Emily Thomas UofL senior said.

Emily Thomas, who identifies as lesbian, says the red equal sign symbolizes a national movement for LGBT rights.

"I think whether you're straight or gay you should be able to be married and be able to have all the privileges and rights associated with marriage," UofL freshman Dustin Marsh said.

"I think they should be treated like heterosexual couples...because they're people too," Candace Ashley, UofL sophomore.

Some students say they oppose same-sex marriage for religious and personal reasons in this controversial debate.

An estimated 133,000 legally married gay couples are being denied over one thousand different federal benefits due to DOMA.

From employment and health benefits to taxes, DOMA is different from Monday's Prop 8 case which could extend gay marriage rights to all states. UofL's LGBT Center Director hopes for change.

"I'm surrounded by wonderful LGBT couples in my life. People who have been together for many years. They have stable relationships and they're making great contributions and raising children. It's sad to know their relationships aren't protected," Brian Buford UofL LGBT Center said.

The U.S. Supreme Court could make a decision on Prop 8 and DOMA by June with a wide array of possible outcomes.

Full coverage here.