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Jun 26, 2013 11:36 PM by Eric Ross

Supreme Court rules Defense Marriage Act unconstitutional

Colorado gay-rights advocacy centers celebrated Wednesday after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the Defense Marriage Act unconstitutional.

"It was a great surprise," Charles Irwin with Colorado Springs Pride said. "We didn't necessarily believe it was going to go this way but knew we were going to gain some ground for equality."

Gay rights supporters lined the streets across the nation celebrating a historic victory in the fight for equality.

"We the people are telling our legislature that it is time for you to represent the people," Irwin said. "Our people want equality and our lawmakers are slowly but surely getting there as well."

For Coloradans, the decision to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act means those living here but married in another state could now be entitled to federal benefits. As you can imagine, not everyone is on board with the ruling.

"We are going to support and protect marriage," Carrie Gordon Earll with Focus on the Family said.

Focus on the Family is a Colorado Springs based agency that's spent years promoting family-based values.

"Advocates for same-sex marriage put forth their very best arguments to the court and didn't persuade the court to strike down state marriage laws or to make a constitutional right to same sex marriage," she Earll said.

Civil unions in Colorado will still stand, meaning same-sex couples may not be afforded the same benefits associated with a legal marriage.

"There are over 1,100 federal benefits that civil unions do not allow us to take advantage of," Irwin said.

Colorado Springs Pride says they will continue to fight for same-sex marriage until it's legalized.

A total of 8 states, including Colorado, honor either civil unions or domestic partnerships.

Gay marriage was barred in the Colorado Constitution in 2006 with the passage of Amendment 43. It would take a two-thirds majority in each legislative chamber to overturn the amendment.



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