People hold up signs during a rally for gay marriage rights in Las Vegas on June 26, 2013. (Lindsay Curtis/FOX5)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -
The Supreme Court's ruling on DOMA and Proposition 8 is creating a buzz in Las Vegas. Hundreds in support of same-sex marriage rallied Wednesday afternoon in celebration of the ruling, while others say the government shouldn't be making decisions on marriage.
The Center, Las Vegas' gay and lesbian community center, flooded with a sea of rainbows and flags Wednesday, along with hundreds of people who support marriage equality.
Las Vegas residents Gwen and Mercy Leonard say Wednesday's Supreme Court ruling marks the most important day of their lives. That is, besides their wedding day, which happened one year ago in Washington, D.C.
For now, the couple's marriage is not recognized in Nevada, but the decision grants them the same federal benefits every other married couple has.
"We've always felt the love and commitment of our marriage, but now we're starting to get the rights and it's fabulous," said Mercy Leonard.
Tom Jones, Chairman of the Clark County Independent American Party, believes marriage is a religious commitment. He says the Supreme Court's decision changes the definition of marriage, and takes power away from the church.
"I think they're eroding our rights, they're taking away our freedom," Jones said, "It opens the door for the government to start telling churches what they can do, and I don't think they have that right."
What Jones sees as a questionable move on behalf of the United States Government, others like Jesse Lujan see as a small victory in their fight for equal rights.
"This is a big advancement in the gay rights movement. It's not the only one. There are many more challenges to come," said Lujan.
Same-sex marriage could be up for vote in Nevada's next legislative session, according to lawmakers. If the measure passes, gay marriage could be legal in the state by 2017.
On Wednesday evening, Gov. Brian Sandoval released the following statement to FOX5 concerning the day's developments:
"My personal belief is that marriage is between a man and a woman. But as governor, I believe the people of Nevada should have the freedom to decide should this issue come before them for a vote."
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