Knoxville gay couple reacts to Supreme Court ruling

The Supreme Court handed down two historic decisions on same-sex marriage. One gives same-sex couples federal benefits.  The other paves the way for same-sex marriages in California.

Vin Testa of Washington waves a rainbow flag in support of gay rights outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Tuesday, June 25, 2013, as key decisions are expected to be announced. The Supreme Court resolved five cases, including affirmative action, on Monday. That leaves disputes about gay marriage and voting rights among the six remaining cases. The justices are meeting again Tuesday to issue some opinions and will convene at least one more time. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The Supreme Court handed down two historic decisions on same-sex marriage. One gives same-sex couples federal benefits. The other paves the way for same-sex marriages in California. They're excited, but a little disappointed. It's a win for gays nationally, but here in Tennessee they're hoping the Haslam administration will finally recognize their union.

Todd Cramer and Ernie Hoskins have made Knoxville their home and campaign for gay rights. Ernie Hoskins says, "Everyone is equal to me and it should be equal across the board for everybody."

After six years together, they wanted to get married. They went to Washington, D.C. and tied the knot three months ago. Todd Cramer says, "We had a very private ceremony. We had a minister, a photographer and God."

Their union isn't legal in Tennessee, even though the Supreme Court struck down a key part of the federal defense of marriage act giving same sex married couples equal rights. Ernie Hoskins says, "I didn't think I'd see this this soon, but it's incredible."

It doesn't mean much for Ernie and Todd here. Cramer says, "We're giong to have less of federal rights than someone who lives in Massachussetts where it's legally recognized by the state."

For Todd though it's the principal of the matter. Cramer says, "Now 30 percent of peoploe live where marraige equality is law. We know it's going to get there."

The Supreme Court also struck down proposition 8 killing California's same-sex marriage ban. Cramer says, "That's the more disappointing one. They could have ruled prop 8 was completely unconstitutional, but they didn't."

Regardless of state laws, Todd and Ernie are married. They hope one day, Tennessee will see them the same way they see each other.


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