Local church reacts to DOMA - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Local church reacts to DOMA

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AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) -

The Supreme Court continues to examine same-sex marriage. Wednesday's arguments disputed the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act which is striking a nerve for church members right here in the CSRA.

Members of the Metropolitan Community Church of Our Redeemer are rooting in favor for the Supreme Court to overturn DOMA.

"It's not a biblical based problem; it is a civil rights issue," said Delane Maxwell.  

The church just celebrated its 25th anniversary and is known for its acceptance of gay, lesbian, and bisexual couples, many members of whom are in fact married.

"They are legally married in other states, however here in Georgia or South Carolina; of course it is not legal," said Rev. Lisa Heilig, interim pastor.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court heard Proposition 8, the California law banning same-sex marriage. Wednesday's case, however, concerned those couples who are already married.

Church member Jane Rogerson was happily married to her husband before he passed away and said all couples should be entitled to their spouse's benefits regardless of sexuality.

"They deserve the same equal rights that I have as a widow that they are not going to be able to get unless this is passed," said Rogerson.  

Despite that only nine states voted to support same-sex marriage, DOMA prevents same-sex couples from reaping benefits of federal programs.

"The time has come to actually do what our constitution says and that is to provide equal protection under the law for everyone," said Ann Willbrand.  

"The constitution says the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," said Maxwell.  

However, church members are optimistic, even if they aren't happy with the outcome.

"We keep working, we keep fighting, we keep marching, and we keep moving," said Rev. Heilig. 

A motto this pastor will continue to preach until a decision is made in June.

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