What do the SCOTUS gay rights decisions mean for GA and AL? - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

What do the SCOTUS gay rights decisions mean for GA and AL?

(WTVM) -

The Federal Supreme Court made historic decisions regarding gay rights today, June 26. Now many in the area are wondering what this means for states like Alabama and Georgia where gay unions have not been legalized. 

Dr. David Lanoue, Dean of the College of Letters and Sciences at Columbus State University, earned his Ph.D. in Political Science. He says he does not expect the Court's decisions to affect Georgia or Alabama state laws any time soon.

Lanoue explains that the rulings reinstated gay marriage in California, and made provisions for gay couples living in states that honor gay unions to receive federal marriage benefits. Ultimately, however, the decision to recognize gay unions still lies in the hands of the states.

"These rulings apply only to federal benefits, not to state benefits, and the court did not, in any way, create a right to same-sex marriage," says Lanoue. "There's no requirement that Georgia or Alabama uphold same-sex marriage or honor those marriages from other states."

Lanoue also says the majority of public opinion in Georgia and Alabama still favor traditional marriage, and therefore, so do the laws. However, more and more states are trending towards honoring gay unions.

In order to influence any further outcome, supporters on both sides of the issue should contact state government officials to express opinions. 

Copyright 2013 WTVM. All rights reserved.

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