Moscow residents weigh in on same-sex marriage issue

MOSCOW, ID - As the debate about California's Proposition 8 carries on in the supreme court, KLEW News hit the streets in our communities to see how people are reacting to the national reach of the gay marriage issue locally.

While the Supreme Court debates about California's Proposition 8, which deals with gay marriage, in Washington DC, Moscow residents are watching history unfold.

"We've been talking about it in all our classes," said U of I Student Elizabeth Bartlett. "It's pretty revolutionary."

"It's causing a lot of dissension and division in our country, and we can't afford that," said Moscow resident Mike Bowman.

"This is definitely a major step in making sure that this country actually puts into action what it stands for, and I feel like that does mean equality for everyone," said U of I student Alex Carey.

Despite the glowing sentiment in favor of gay marriage, there is also opposition to the idea among those in the religious community.

"I believe everybody should be treated equal, whoever they are," said Bowman. "But from a religious standpoint, I can't buy it."

"As a Roman Catholic, I know that it's wrong," said U of I student Mitchell Hornsby. "And I would not want to do anything that would make it easier for people to do that which is wrong."

We also found that the issue of religion was not a dividing line for people in the community who would like to see the court repeal California's ban on same-sex marriages.

"As we grow as a country, our morals will change, our people will change," said Idaho Institute of Christian Education Administrative Director Doug Wood.

Gay marriage supporters insist that today's norms are different than they were decades ago.

"When I was a child, we didn't talk about gays," said Wood. "I had two brothers who were gay, and we just didn't talk about it."

Supporters say now is the time to change the laws to reflect society's current beliefs.

"Just because I'm heterosexual, doesn't mean that I have more rights," said Bartlett.

"Every American has rights that they're entitled to, and regardless of sexual orientation or anything like that, all Americans are entitled to those things," said Carey.

No matter what side of the same-sex marriage debate they're on, the people we spoke with seem to agree that it's a matter that the federal government should regulate and we were hard pressed to find anyone who doesn't expect the government to weigh in.

"Definitely yes," said Bartlett. "I feel like it's something that America needs to do."

Should the supreme court issue a ruling on the California ban of same-sex marriages, it's thought by many that it will have a far-reaching impact on the legality of the unions across the country. Currently Washington state is one of nine states that has legalized gay marriage.