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Locals speak out about same-sex rights

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Updated: 6/26/2013 7:15 pm
TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) --The U.S. Supreme Court clears the way for married gay couples to receive federal benefits.

"I screamed. I jumped. I cried. I never thought I would see this day-not in my life time," Star Newsome said.

Newsome says she has been in an openly gay relationship for years.

While same-sex marriage is illegal in Mississippi, Newsome says Wednesday's ruling may one day allow her and her partner to enjoy the same benefits as a heterosexual married couple.

"I'm now being told by the government that I'm not a second class citizen and that my life matters and my relationship matters," Newsome added.

Legally married same-sex couples are eligible to receive more than 1,000 spousal benefits; such as filing federal income taxes together and receiving Social Security survivors benefits.

American Family Association President Tim Wildmon spoke about the ruling in his Wednesday afternoon radio show.

He says the ruling is an attempt to redefine marriage.

"They have the same basic rights as any other American. They can travel, have relationships, friendships, they can live as they want to.  But when we are talking about redefining a fundamental societal institution as marriage we just don't agree," Wildmon said.

It's unclear whether federal benefits will apply to couples who marry in a state where same-sex marriage is legal but move to a state, like Mississippi, where it's not recognized.
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