A Waterford couple is celebrating The Supreme Court's decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act, also known as DOMA.
Connecticut Couple Impacted by DOMA Ruling
A lesbian couple in Waterford greet the Supreme Court's decision on the Defense of Marriage Act with optimism, hoping that they can now have recognition and share medical benefits. (Published Wednesday, Jun 26, 2013)
Updated at 9:12 PM EST on Wednesday, Jun 26, 2013
"I have no words because I'm on cloud 9," Joanne Pedersen, said.
Pedersen and Ann Meitzen are married. Meitzen has a chronic lung condition and hasn't been able to go on her spouse's health insurance. Since Pedersen is retired from the federal government DOMA barred them from sharing benefits, until Wednesday.
"When she is put on my health benefits it will be a cost savings of close to $600 a month," Pedersen said.
But for these women this ruling is more than just about sharing health insurance.
"It's a recognition of the federal government saying guess what folks, in the state's where marriage is legal, you're legal," Meitzen said.
In 2010 Meitzen and Pedersen sued the federal government to strike down DOMA. On Wednesday in a 5 to 4 decision, The U.S. Supreme Court did just that.
Both women were overjoyed.
"Oh my god," Pedersen said, after she heard the ruling Wednesday morning. "It's finally happening."
Same-sex couples celebrated across Connecticut but supporters of DOMA said Wednesday was a disappointing day.
"We can still fight to restore traditional marriage in America but it's definitely not a good day for the American family," Peter Wolfgang, executive director of the Family of Institute of Connecticut, said.
Pedersen and Meitzen said opponents can believe whatever they want to believe. They said Wednesday's decision is progress.
"You walk outside and the light is a little brighter and everything is a little shinier," Meitzen said.