UK groups react to legal gay marriage

Belinda Tarpley-Sottung speaks to a crowd Friday in downtown Lexington, in front of the courthouse, after the U.S. Supreme Court decided states must allow same-sex couples to marry. Photo by Kyle Arensdorf

By Cheyene Miller

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As citizens across the country celebrate the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision to effectively legalize same-sex marriage in all 50 states, members of the UK LGBTQ* community take time to reflect on their triumphs and struggles.

“We are all ecstatic, but mindful there is still so much more work to do and protection of all people to advocate,” said junior Michael Frazier, a triple major in political science, economics and philosophy.

“This is a decision to be celebrated,” said Lance Poston, director of LGBTQ* Resources at UK, who also called the decision a “victory-point in a long history of advocacy for the LGBTQ* community.”

While Poston said that summertime has made communication with students more difficult, he said that he is “Certain that we will have those conversations in the coming days and coming weeks” in regard to the decision and what challenges still persist for the LGBTQ* community.

Poston, an active member of the LGBTQ* community, said that this decision opens up a whole new set of options for him and his partner of six years.

“It’s something I celebrate personally as well,” Poston said.

Poston referred to the LGBTQ* community as “A large set of individuals who have many different life experiences,” and said that much like the Civil Rights Act of 1964, this decision represents a huge step in the right direction but not the end of the community’s struggle for basic human rights.

“With everything there is a vice and virtue,” said Frazier, who serves as president of the UK branch of Students for Liberty.

Frazier said that with marriage equality legalized the virtue is that a marginalized minority is one step closer to being equal, but the vice is that the situation will stir the pot and bring out regressive attitudes from dissenters.

“It would be naïve and unwise to say we didn’t also have to be in caution,” said Frazier, who said he is happy about the prospect of potentially marrying his boyfriend Patrick Mason, a political science sophomore.

“We can really live life to the fullest and live out all of our dreams,” said Mason, who said that he and Frazier are happy about the newfound ability to marry in Kentucky because it is their home.

After the Supreme Court ruled in a landmark 5-4 decision on Friday that states cannot ban same-sex marriage, pride festivals and parades broke out across the nation as pro-marriage equality citizens celebrated the historic event.

Judge Anthony Kennedy, who many saw as the deciding vote in the decision, wrote the majority statement, in which he declared, “It would misunderstand these men and women to say that they disrespect the idea of marriage.  Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find it’s fulfillment in themselves,” and that “they ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law.  The Constitution grants them that right.”