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Gay Rights Activists Praise Federal Appeals Court Ruling

Gay rights activists in western Massachusetts are hailing the ruling by a federal appeals court in Boston that found the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.  WAMC’s Paul Tuthill reports…

Brenda Lopez of Springfield says the federal statute that defines marriage as being between one man and one woman is rooted in bigotry.

“If in fact you’re going to defend a marriage, you need to defend all marriages.”

The court’s decision was announced shortly before the start of a Gay Pride celebration in downtown Springfield.  Springfield Pride President Amaad Rivera said with President Obama endorsing gay marriage it has been an historic year for the movement.

“This is a nonpartisan issue.  Everyone needs to be treated equally before the law.  I think the time has come.”

Massachusetts, where same sex marriage has been legal for eight years, was the first state to challenge the federal law, arguing it discriminates against the state’s citizens.

Paul Tuthill, WAMC News.

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston. He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester. Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011. Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.