Legalizing same-sex marriage: slippery slope or step to equality - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Legalizing same-sex marriage: a slippery slope or step closer to equality?

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

The U.S. Supreme Court could throw out the Defense of Marriage Act, also known as DOMA.

It's a federal law that denies benefits to same-sex couples.

Since DOMA was enacted in 1996, nine states and the District of Columbia have recognized same-sex marriages as legal, including Iowa.

Maureen Doherty, a Reverend in Waterloo, married her wife Joan almost four years ago when Iowa legalized same-sex marriage.

"It means a lot to begin to imagine that no matter where we go, we're recognized simply as a married couple in the United States," said Doherty.

Doherty said she wished the U.S. Supreme Court did not have to have this discussion in the first place.

"I don't think anybody wants to be on the debate block," she said.

Doherty said the bigger issue is thinking about how the country defines family and marriage.

"A lot of things change about what does a marriage look like and what does a family look like. So I think it's healthy to have this discussion," she said.

Meanwhile, critics oppose even having the discussion about legalizing same-sex marriage for fear it could become a slippery slope to recognizing other forms of marriage.

Doherty said she understands the opposition, but hopes folks take the opportunity to discuss honoring and respecting others, regardless of their life choices.

A decision on whether to keep DOMA in place is expected in the U.S. Supreme Court by June.

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