Town hall meeting on marriage equality held at UAB

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Equality Alabama and the American Civil Liberties Union held a town hall meeting at UAB on Monday to answer questions the gay community has about what will change with the new rulings on the Defense of Marriage Act.

The town hall also answered how the rulings will affect Alabama.

According to organizers, it is likely Alabama won’t legalize same-sex marriage anytime soon, but they are encouraged by some developments.

CBS42’s Trent Butler spoke to State Rep. Patricia Todd, who is Alabama’s only openly gay lawmaker. Butler asked Todd if the Supreme Court ruling changes anything in the state.

In Todd’s opinion, it will help people who live in Alabama now, were legally married in other states and who are federal employees.

“I have a friend in the military in Huntsville. [She’s] been married to her partner for 30 years, and all of a sudden overnight they get federal benefits,”  Todd said. ” Her partner now gets health insurance. I mean, that’s huge. We forget that.”

Todd says she respects other opinions, like those of Pastor Monsignor Martin Muller, even though she doesn’t agree with them.

“One man, one woman is marriage,” Muller said. “And to suddenly say, ‘We’ve got a right, even though we’re not a man and a woman, because we’re gay we’re gonna call it marriage.’  It simply is not marriage.”

Muller, the pastor of Our Lady Of Sorrows Church in Homewood, says society is better off with the traditional Christian view of marriage.

Patricia Todd says she plans to marry her partner in Massachusetts on September 14th.

Beatrice Bode contributed to this report.

Copyright 2013 WIAT-TV CBS 42

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