JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - Here in the Tri-Cities people say the rulings are good and bad news. We got local reactions Wednesday from people on both sides of the same-sex marriage debate.
Kris Shaffer and her partner Jen wear rings as a symbol. Shaffer tells us while they're not married, the rings are a commitment to spend their lives together. "I believe we probably would already be married if it were legal," said Shaffer.
On Wednesday the Supreme Court ruled same-sex couples married legally cannot be denied the same federal benefits afforded to heterosexual couples. "The Defense of Marriage Act [being] deemed unconstitutional was absolutely a step in the right direction for us," added Shaffer.
Shaffer says she defines marriage as love between two people, but not everyone agrees.
"For the Christian Medical Association, marriage is between a man and a woman," said Dr. David Stevens with the CMA.
Dr. Stevens says he disagrees with the Supreme Court rulings, saying they will impact children because he believes marriage should be based on reproduction. "The best situation for children is to have a stable marriage between a mother and father. Studies show that very clearly," added Doctor Stevens.
Shaffer says she and her partner hope to one day adopt and have a family of their own. "Us together, we make it a home."