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Military same-sex marriages fight battles off base

a same sex military couple getting married
a same sex military couple getting married

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals saw a legal argument filed Thursday from supporters on behalf of same-sex military families. The supporters are Equality NC and South Carolina Equality, the Charlotte Observer reports.

On a federal level, same-sex unions are recognized, but some states, such as North and South Carolina, still have control in certain areas on defining a marriage, which limits those who would receive certain benefits and parental rights.

“In Fort Bragg, we have the second-largest military installation in the world, and we have one of the largest veteran populations in the country. I would argue that there is no state where this is a more important conversation to have,” said Chris Sgro, executive director of Equality NC, which bills itself as the state’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy group.

This is not an issue as long as the couples are still on base. There, they are viewed just like a heterosexual couple. When they are off base, this is not always the case. In military towns such as Fayetteville, North Carolina and Columbia, South Carolina, homosexual unions are not recognized.

In Virginia, a ban on same-sex marriages was ruled unconstitutional. When the Fourth Circuit hears this appeal, if they allow it to stand, other state’s ban on same-sex marriages could change.

North Carolina was the last state to put a constitutional ban on same-sex marriages. At present, the states are allowed to define marriage.

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