Local same sex couples "elated" about Supreme Court rulings - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Local same sex couples "elated" about Supreme Court rulings

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Evansville residents Michael Harris and Ricky Strunk celebrated the Supreme Court rulings on DOMA. Evansville residents Michael Harris and Ricky Strunk celebrated the Supreme Court rulings on DOMA.
Evansville couple Katie and Whitney Watts were married in Connecticut last year and are excited about the Supreme Court ruling. Evansville couple Katie and Whitney Watts were married in Connecticut last year and are excited about the Supreme Court ruling.

Same-sex couples in the Tri-State told 14 News they've been waiting a long time for a landmark decision, like the one delivered by the Supreme Court Tuesday, and called this a monumental step in the right direction.

Evansville couple Katie and Whitney Watts got married last year in Connecticut---one of 12 states that recognizes same-sex marriage.

Whitney says they were very anxious last night, they couldn't sleep and when the decision came down this morning they were elated. 

Katie and Whitney join a wealth of other same sex couples in the area, like Michael Harris and Ricky Strunk. Michael and Ricky have been together for three years.

Michael said they got up early Tuesday morning to watch the coverage of the Supreme Court ruling and when it finally came down, he said they couldn't believe it.

"I heard it and you think you're ready for it, but when you hear it, it's just a feeling that washes over you, it's a validation. It's all the work we've done, that I've done and that others have done is working and you're on the right track," Michael said.

Michael said Ricky was equally overwhelmed.

"(He) jumped on me and said, you're going to marry me soon," Harris said.

Harris said his hard work is finally being rewarded.

"The momentum is there and you can see society change right in front of your eyes and it's a fascinating thing," Michael said.

Michael said he and Ricky could certainly go to a state like Connecticut or California and get married, but they'd ultimately like to be married in Indiana. 

"The momentum is there, that in time and I'm pretty sure that in my lifetime, that if I stayed here, that it would come here,," Michael said.

Governor Mike Pence issued a statement today that expressed his disappointment with the Supreme Court's decision. A portion of the statement reads:

"I look forward to supporting efforts by members of the Indiana General Assembly to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot for voter consideration next year."

That amendment would put the state ban on same-sex marriage into the state constitution. 

Some residents say their views align with those of Governor Pence and think the issue should be left to state government.

"I'm for marriage between a man and a woman. I think the federal government is too involved, I think it should be more of a state to state issue and I don't think the federal government should have their hand in it," one Evansville man said.

While others think the decision should be free of government involvement.

"The idea of same sex marriage as in walking down the aisle, saying 'I do', is more of a church issue than a governmental issue. I feel like the government doesn't really have a lot of business messing with that," Evansville resident Paul Jones said.

Michael said he understands and respects these differing opinions. 

"You can have your opinion, but you don't have to obstruct others from moving forward. Nothing's forced upon anyone else. It's only an inclusion of more, not an exclusion," Michael said. 

For the full statement from Governor Pence, click here.

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