Terri Phoenix (Courtesy of UNC)
CHAPEL HILL – UNC’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer (LGBTQ) director, Terri Phoenix, joined Ron Stutts on the WCHL Thursday Morning News to express her reaction to the Supreme Court’s 5-4 votes Wednesday.
***Listen to the Interview***
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court ruled a provision in the Defense of Marriage Act, which recognized marriage at the federal level as only between a man and a woman, as unconstitutional. It also denied ruling on Proposition 8 in California.
“I’m ecstatic,” Phoenix says. “It was a decision that we really hoped would come through. It does not address whether or the not the current state ban is unconstitutional, but it does say that federal recognition of marriage is something that all citizens should have access to.”
Phoenix says she looks forward to making more progress in North Carolina. The Supreme Court ruling on DOMA seeded the right of the state to define lawful marriage. Terri Phoenix expresses some concerns about what this has on people who have recognized marriages in other states.
“The question is what’s going to happen for people who have a marriage license from a state that recognizes marriage in terms of federal benefits if you live in North Carolina?” asks Phoenix.
Phoenix legally married her partner in Massachusetts, giving her concern about receiving federal benefits while residing in North Carolina. The Supreme Court ruling does not address how states that do not recognize same-sex marriage should handle same-sex couples like Phoenix.