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Augusta area gays, lesbians celebrate ruling on marriage

Wednesday, June 26, 2013 9:05 PM
Last updated 9:50 PM
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For nearly five years, Chris Bannochie and David Key have waited to receive the same federal benefits other married couples get. The waiting paid off Wednesday when the U.S. Supreme Court declared the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.

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Augusta residents David Key and Chris Bannochie were married in California on Oct. 16, 2008.  JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
Augusta residents David Key and Chris Bannochie were married in California on Oct. 16, 2008.

“It’s a huge victory,” Bannochie said. “Just total excitement.”

Bannochie and Key, of Augusta, were legally married Oct. 16, 2008 in San Francisco, Calif., during the five months when same-sex marriages were allowed in the state.

“We can file our taxes together. He’s eligible for my pension and Social Security benefits if something was to happen to me,” Bannochie said.

Gay men and lesbians across the Augusta area celebrated the ruling Wednesday but said more states need to recognize same-sex marriages. Georgia has a constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriages.

“It is a win but it’s a small step in achieving this nationwide,” said Isaac Kelly, the past president of Augusta Pride, Inc.

With the ruling, Kelly said he gained a more equal status to other citizens. He is considering marrying his partner of four years in California or Massachusetts.

“When I do pop the question, it’s going to hold more weight,” he said.

Army 1st Lt. Jonathan Roman said he’s more willing to enter a same-sex relationship and marry because of the ruling. Under DOMA, same-sex couples were denied federal benefits.

“It’s days like these that make me proud to be fighting for values in this country,” said Roman, an active member of a gay and lesbian military support and advocacy group called OutServe-SLDN.

Others were disappointed in the Supreme Court decision, saying it does not uphold the traditional definition of marriage as between a woman and a man.

Roger Rollins, the executive director of the Family and Marriage Coalition of Aiken, said the ruling was a sad reminder that the nation’s values are slipping away.

“We live in a nation that grew up supporting the ideals of a traditional family,” Rollins said. “Society today seems to be going in the wrong direction.”

More people need to stand up to defend marriage and family, he said.

With its decision, the Supreme Court redefined the biblical meaning of marriage, said Pastor Doug Page, of First Baptist Church in North Augusta.

“Call it something other than marriage,” he said, adding that all citizens deserve equal rights. “We need to continue to stand firm on biblical principles.”

The decision overwhelmed Michelle Hopper, 41, of Grovetown. She cried when she read the decision but wants more states to recognize same-sex marriages.

“It’s a small step towards the right direction,” she said. “Love is love. It’s not a matter of religion. It’s a matter of civil rights.”

Hopper, who is in a relationship, said she will eventually get married in another state, if Georgia does not recognize same-sex marriage, so she can receive federal benefits.

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thauch12
6138
Points
thauch12 06/27/13 - 03:19 pm
7
1
Simple solution...

The government should just get out of the business of trying to define/regulate marriage. The idea that a married couple is entitled more or less benefits than a single person is silly. Marriage should be a purely religious ceremony and, by the tenet of separation of church and state, the government should not play a role in the process at all. But we can't have t that, it would make too much sense!

myfather15
49594
Points
myfather15 06/27/13 - 04:07 pm
3
3
1st Timothy Chapter 4: Verse

1st Timothy Chapter 4:

Verse 1: "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;"

Verse 2: " Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;"

Verse 3: "FORBIDDING TO MARRY, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth."

Thank you for proving my point!! Soon, government WILL forbid to marry!! Then, it will only be a private ceremony, unrecognized. You will have your way, for a while!

myfather15
49594
Points
myfather15 06/27/13 - 04:11 pm
2
2
That is EXACTLY what the LP's

That is EXACTLY what the LP's want. Marriage equality was NEVER the goal, admitting by liberals many times. They want to do away with the institution of marriage, ordained by God. The "falling away" continues, as prophesied!!

This is the strength of those who keep the faith!! That we have been foretold all this will happen. The WORD from HIM is our strength!! We've been told this will happen, we just have to be strong and STAND!! We will when the War in the end, but we are going to lose more and more battles!!

rmwhitley
5526
Points
rmwhitley 06/27/13 - 04:40 pm
1
0
Willie7.
Unpublished

They have.

burninater
8847
Points
burninater 06/27/13 - 05:31 pm
1
3
"FORBIDDING TO MARRY"?

Good grief. The existence of legal recognition of gay marriage does not forbid people from practicing the institution of marriage as instituted by God.

Where do people come up with this stuff?

dichotomy
30505
Points
dichotomy 06/27/13 - 05:35 pm
3
2
I oppose this simply because

I oppose this simply because homosexuals cannot procreate and therefore will not create offspring to become young taxpayers to perpetuate our socialist welfare system to care for the young homosexuals when they become old don'tknowsexuals.

myfather15
49594
Points
myfather15 06/27/13 - 06:54 pm
2
1
That's funny burninator;

Maybe not yet; but when the lawsuits staring costing millions, it will. Notice I said it might take several years, but it will happen. Read my WHOLE comment, not just take bits and parts.

When States are sued or pressured into accepting the federal regulations, there are going to be massive problems. States would have to spend hundreds of millions, fighting the lawsuits, on top of the federal government already denying ALL federal funds to ANY State that won't go along. The federal government will have a STRONGHOLD over states to accept it. States will refuse and instead of recognizing legal gay marriage, they will do away with all legally recognized marriage. This will be the EASY way out for States. They will think this will solve the problem.

Gays do NOT want to participate in legalized marriage, but they don't want us to either. Again, they don't want marriage equality, they want to do away with the legal recognition of a one man/one woman CHRISTIAN idea of marriage. It's JUST THAT SIMPLE, but it's all conspiracy, right? When the lawsuits start piling up on the States that won't comply, they will fold under the pressure, just like schools that fold over Christmas displays. Then marriage is GONE!!!

mrenee2003
2934
Points
mrenee2003 06/27/13 - 07:38 pm
2
2
From Suzanna Sherry at Vanderbilt Law School

"Congress – and by extension the states – cannot purposely and deliberately brand any group with the stigma of inferiority, purely out of animus or disapproval. It cannot make pariahs out of law-abiding citizens for no other reason than to demean them. That is what DOMA did, and that is why DOMA is unconstitutional."

Nobody's rights are infringed upon by gay marriage. Nobody will force you to marry a gay person. Nobody will force the Pastor, Imam, Rabbi, or Priest at your place of worship to officiate at a gay person's wedding ceremony. If you want to do some hand wringing, think about what the Republicans did in Texas yesterday by altering time stamps on a governmental document. Despicable.

Gage Creed
15680
Points
Gage Creed 06/27/13 - 08:22 pm
1
2
Amazing that someone whose

Amazing that someone whose persona reeks of George Jefferson, makes crass characterizations of others... go figure...

RMSHEFF
13912
Points
RMSHEFF 06/27/13 - 08:32 pm
2
2
Burn

Should I be able to marry my 2 brothers , my sisters and my step daughter ? If not why not? As some say , its never wrong to love!

RMSHEFF
13912
Points
RMSHEFF 06/27/13 - 08:47 pm
2
2
mrenee2003

So we can count on your support when Churches are threatened with loosing their 501 c3 or c4 tax exempt status for not preforming same sex marriages of refusing to hire homosexuals to work in the church. Or a military chaplain is court marshaled for refusing to marry same sex soldiers. Or a state is forced by a federal court to change the laws on the definition of marriage.

mrenee2003
2934
Points
mrenee2003 06/27/13 - 09:25 pm
2
2
RMSHEFF

When churches stay out of state and federal business, I will support their right to discriminate whoever they want. I take issue with churches having tax exempt status when they pour those dollars into election campaigns. In terms of military chaplains, I believe a precedent has been set in terms of not forcing people to engage in activities that go against their religious beliefs. For example, pharmacists do not have to fill RX for the morning after pill, doctors do not have to perform abortions or prescribe birth control pills. They are, however, under obligation to find someone who will. I suspect that any military chaplain that does not want to officiate at a gay wedding will be asked to recommend someone who will. In terms of civil rights, face it, our history has shown time and time again, the federal government needs to urge some states along. All this fear, so sad.

mrenee2003
2934
Points
mrenee2003 06/27/13 - 09:35 pm
2
2
Since I feeling like quoting tonight

“Because religious belief, or non-belief, is such an important part of every person’s life, freedom of religion affects every individual. Religious institutions that use government power in support of themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths, or of no faith, undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of an established religion tends to make the clergy unresponsive to their own people, and leads to corruption within religion itself. Erecting the “wall of separation between church and state,” therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society.” -- Thomas Jefferson

mrenee2003
2934
Points
mrenee2003 06/27/13 - 09:42 pm
1
2
One last thing RMSHEFF

You can't marry a blood relation because of the increased risk of genetic defects. If you are so inclined, it is legal for you to marry your step-daughter as long as she is 16.

Gage Creed
15680
Points
Gage Creed 06/27/13 - 10:00 pm
0
2
But what if you and your

But what if you and your blood relative can't procreate? Would that be acceptable?

mrenee2003
2934
Points
mrenee2003 06/27/13 - 11:27 pm
2
0
Gage Creed

You bring up a good point. The bigger issue for me is why the government tells us who we can and can't marry to begin with. In what other realm does the government get to tell us who we can and can't enter into a contract? The other issue is why married people get all of these tax breaks and entitlements. As far as I am concerned, nobody should have to get a blood test or register anything with the government when they get married. It's nobody's business.

avidreader
2959
Points
avidreader 06/28/13 - 08:50 am
1
1
Live and Let Live!

I have many gay friends in this community. ALL are well-educated, productive, and caring. Some are my students. Many are my colleagues. Many have been in a serious relationship for years.

I also have a great deal of respect for devout Christians who do not support the Supreme Court's views. Should the definition of "marriage" remain a Biblical concept? I'm kind of stuck in the middle, but I can rest easy knowing that my gay friends are now happier and have more peace-of-mind.

There's a wonderful church down on Greene Street. Maybe I'll pop in this Sunday.

myfather15
49594
Points
myfather15 06/28/13 - 10:25 am
0
1
Whats amazing to me is the

Whats amazing to me is the same person (mrenee2003) typed BOTH of the statements.

"the federal government needs to urge some states along."

Then, they go on to type this statement in the SAME THREAD; simply amazing!!

" The bigger issue for me is why the government tells us who we can and can't marry to begin with. In what other realm does the government get to tell us who we can and can't enter into a contract?"

So, mrenee2003; in your opinion, when SHOULD the government "urge" some states along? When the urging agrees with YOUR position? It appears your perfectly fine with the government urging states along, when you agree with the government, but they should STAY OUT of issues you disagree with. Am I getting this right? I mean, YOU are the one typed both these comments, contradicting each other; wanting federal government involvement in one and NOT the other.

myfather15
49594
Points
myfather15 06/28/13 - 10:32 am
0
1
"You can't marry a blood

"You can't marry a blood relation because of the increased risk of genetic defects."

Exactly why is it the government business If I want to take the chance of increased birth defects? That would be MY problem, right? I'm the one going to raise the baby with the birth defect, right? So why does the government tell me I can't marry someone because of birth defects? That's a ridiculous argument!!

The questions could continue and THEY KNOW IT!! The next question: why can't I marry multiple partners, if they are all consenting adults and don't have a problem with it.

Then, why can't I marry my immediate family? Don't believe me? There are entire groups of people in this Country which do this; they raise their children for this very purpose. They actually don't believe in going outside the family. I won't mention the groups; do your own research and you can find it.

Again, when the States have to start recognizing ANYTHING and EVERYTHING as legal marriage, they will do away with ANY legalized marriage!! THIS is going to happen and then the far leftists can say "Mission accomplished".

mrenee2003
2934
Points
mrenee2003 06/28/13 - 02:42 pm
2
0
myfather15

Thank you for twisting my words. I never said it was OK for the federal government to interfere in states' rights in one instance and not the other. What I said was that it's not the government's place (local, state, or federal) to make rules about who can marry who. Who you can marry, in my mind, is sacrosanct; it speaks to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; to freedom. We are not a free nation if the government engages in systematic discrimination; that's not the place of the government. The sole purpose of the government is to protect its citizens; not denigrate a particular group of people to second class citizenship. To that end, if a state or states try to pass laws (like many southern states did in terms of taking away voting, job, or education rights to Blacks and women), the federal government needs to step in and protect its citizens. Please save the
"so can I marry my dog?" comments. I am referring to marriage between individuals that have the faculties to consent to marriage.

myfather15
49594
Points
myfather15 06/28/13 - 05:21 pm
0
1
What if to achieve my

What if to achieve my happiness, I MUST have 6 or 7 wives and I can actually find that amount WILLING to marry me? Is that ok with you?

What if my happiness depends on me marrying my sister and she is willing? Are you ok with that?

The simply fact is, Countries have standards and develop rules and regulations that are acceptable to the PEOPLE. The PEOPLE, have spoke in the VAST majority of the States and said NO to gay marriage. But THAT wasn't good enough and as usual, liberals circumvent the system by using liberal federal judges legislate their will upon the people.

myfather15
49594
Points
myfather15 06/28/13 - 05:37 pm
0
1
They also lie and say this is

They also lie and say this is a civil rights issue and compare themselves to the institution of the slavery of a certain race. RACE can be easily proven as NOT a choice; homosexuality, not so clear. Of course they SAY they are born that way, but I've also talk to those who say they weren't. You can't prove whether it's a choice or not simply by LOOKING at the person, as is the case with race. It's also against the LAWS OF NATURE, which I've stated my case many times and don't care to get into at this time.

My own aunt was married to my uncle for 23 years before she became lesbian. Now, gay activists would say "She was always gay, she was just suppressing it or in the closet." Yeah, go ask her that, she will tell you far different. She told me she NEVER felt attraction to women until later in life, in her 40's. But, I suppose to activists, she was always gay, just didn't know it. Well, what if she "decides" next week that she likes men again, is she still gay? This issue is NOT cut and dry and I don't see how anyone thinks it is.

corgimom
27781
Points
corgimom 06/28/13 - 07:00 pm
1
1
She didn't "become" lesbian

She didn't "become" lesbian any more than you "became" heterosexual, myfather. That's what you don't get. You don't decide to become heterosexual or homosexual. Sexual preference is set very early in life. It was always there. Maybe she didn't act on it, maybe she hadn't met the right person. I'm heterosexual, but I'm not sexually attracted to every man that I come in contact with. Maybe she had never come into contact with a lesbian who was interested in her. That happens, too.

And I assume that during those 23 years of marriage to your uncle, she had relations with him, and was able to reproduce.

There you go, myfather. The truth is staring you in the face, and it's right there in your own family. Your own family contradicts what you say on here, that they can't reproduce.

Many gay people try to live a heterosexual life- it's much easier that way, for many reasons- but as they mature, if they are gay, they usually choose that, after a while they just can't deny it anymore.

I always feel so sorry for the spouse in those situations, divorce is devastating, and there's nothing they can do.

corgimom
27781
Points
corgimom 06/28/13 - 07:09 pm
3
1
myfather, the reason why you

myfather, the reason why you can't marry close relatives is because having sex with them is incest, which is illegal.

You know, as in marrying your sister, and what a disgusting thought.

You are getting really carried away with this, perhaps you should explore why this is so deeply upsetting to you.

There are all sorts of laws that I don't agree with, that I don't think are right, but I still have to live with them.

Please, you've made your point, over and over. You are repeating yourself now, you've exhausted the subject.

I'm telling you nicely, as a friend, I think it's time for you to move on. You aren't going to change anybody's mind, and it's obvious that you are upset by this.

myfather15
49594
Points
myfather15 06/29/13 - 02:55 am
1
2
Corgimom

Do you ever actually read what people write, or do you just blather on about whatever you feel like?

You stated "There you go, myfather. The truth is staring you in the face, and it's right there in your own family. Your own family contradicts what you say on here, that they can't reproduce."

What I've ACTUALLY stated is they CAN NOT reproduce with EACH OTHER!! Now, tell me where I'm wrong!! PLEASE, tell me I'm wrong on this issue topic!! Don't ignore the question like you've done EVERY time, answer it. Stop MAKING UP stuff, in a feeble attempt to "prove" me wrong. Don't put words in my mouth and don't lie about what I've said. REPEAT; homosexual couples CAN NOT reproduce with EACH OTHER; it's naturally impossible.

No matter what means you use; IVF, surrogacy, artificial, it still requires sperm, which comes from a MAN and an egg, which comes from a WOMAN. Please tell me which part of this is inaccurate!

myfather15
49594
Points
myfather15 06/29/13 - 04:49 pm
1
2
No response? Typical! Take

No response? Typical! Take cheap shots, use inaccurate statements, then don't back up what you say!! Typical strategy of the left.

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