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Downtown Rally Celebrates Supreme Court DOMA Ruling

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Demonstrators at a rally for gay rights cheered when this morning's rulings from the Supreme Court were announced.

They watched the bulletins on a big screen along Liberty Avenue, which was closed between 9th and 10th Streets for the rally.

The rulings allow same-sex federal benefits for couples who were married in states that recognize gay marriage. Also, the ruling let stand a California same-sex marriage law, for now.

Diane and Heidi Anderson of McKees Rocks were among those at the rally.

"Rejoice, oh my goodness!" said Diane. "We got married last year for pride in New York, So, we were legally married in New York on June 22, and we were married at MCC Pittsburgh Oct. 7, 2006, but that wasn't recognized. So, now we get to actually federally say we're married under the law. Change is coming. My parents were married in '69 and they're a biracial couple and there was a time when that was illegal."

Heidi says benefits are critical.

"Absolutely, I mean as you get older you worry about that. You worry about Social Security and everything, and right now we have benefits," she said.

Latasha Mayes, the executive director of New Voices Pittsburgh said, "Whatever choices people make, our work is to protect the human right to make decisions for yourselves."

Matt Bartko, of Wilkinsburg, and his partner, Maddi Landi, also hailed the ruling.

"We're exhilarated," said Bartko. "It's absolutely… we're floored. We just got engaged a week ago, so now it's an amazing opportunity to know the country's got our back. A little decision-making has to happen as to whether or not we're going to get married in Pennsylvania or go to another state or even stay in Pennsylvania."

"I'm enthralled," said Landi. "I've been waiting for this for four months. I finally asked him and I'm glad it's actually moving us towards having equality, and live in this state, and be married in this state, have benefits and be able to see him through to the end of his life as we all should."


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