Local residents weigh in on gay marriage

(07/31/03) YONKERS - On Thursday, the Vatican called on people to fight against legalizing same-sex marriages, adding fodder to an already controversial subject. Local residents spoke with News 12 Westchester and gave their opinions on the issue.

In a published report, the Vatican is asking Catholics and non-Catholics to fight the legal recognition of same-sex marriages. President Bush also commented on the subject Wednesday, saying that the government should defend what he calls traditional marriage, i.e., between a man and a woman. Local residents had mixed reactions to the latest developments, some taking the conservative side, and some saying that the government should not dictate what is moral.

There is already a federal law called the Defense of Marriage Act passed in 1996. Under that law, the federal government is prohibited from recognizing same-sex marriages for purposes of social security benefits or veteran's benefits. It also does not require states to recognize gay marriages that are considered legal in other states.

Westchester currently has a domestic registry for unmarried, same-sex couples looking to be recognized as domestic partners. To be eligible, a couple has to prove they live together and are in a long-term relationship.


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