Local same sex couple reflects on Supreme Court ruling - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

Local same sex couple reflects on Supreme Court ruling

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Same sex couple who lives in Cleveland Ohio Same sex couple who lives in Cleveland Ohio
CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

While Ohio's Defense of Marriage Act, approved by voters, is not affected by today's ruling, local same sex couples are still celebrating the Supreme Court's decision to strike down the Federal Defense of Marriage Act.  They say it's a victory and a validation.

After the Supreme Court's recent ruling regarding same sex marriage, Candi Whitesel and her wife Jess can't get the smiles off their faces.

"This was huge. This could have set us back a lot depending on the decision. And it moved us forward," said Candi Whitesel.

Candi and Jess were married in the eyes of their church nearly four years ago. But they would still like to see full equality in Ohio, especially for the sake of their son Jameson.

"We've spent quite a bit of money to get some rights but if something were to happen to Candi, I'd still have to go to court and ultimately fight to keep my child," said Jess.

Cleveland's LGBT Center Director believes today's decisions are stepping stones.

"Let's celebrate today, and then tomorrow get back to the work around public accommodations, around equal housing, equal employment," said Phyllis Harris.

There's lots of opposition they'll face.

"I still maintain my deeply held faith and with it the belief that marriage should be between one man and one woman. regardless of this ruling, I will continue to do what my constituents expect of me and push for policies that will fix our broken economy and get Ohioans back to work." said Republican Congressman Jim Renacci, in a written statement.

Candi believes there are still questions and room for interpretation.

"If we go get married in New York, California, or DC...will some of those federal rights follow us to Ohio?" she asked.

For now the Whitesels say they'll concentrate on being an example of what a family can be.

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