Local Reaction to Gay Marriages

Same-sex unions in recent weeks have sparked a firestorm of debate across the country, and Wednesday mixed reviews were found in Tallahassee as well.

There’s a mixed bag in the capital city. Many folks agree with President Bush's proposal Tuesday for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriages, while others were outraged with the idea, saying the constitution should protect people's rights not restrict them.

We also found some who are on the fence.

Shelley Wagener has spent the past six years as a pastor at the United Church in Tallahassee, a sanctuary welcoming all types of people, single, heterosexual or gay.

“Our congregation has a long-term commitment as a place where all people are welcome,” says Shelley.

When she heard President Bush's proposal to ban same-sex marriages, she took a strong stance, but that tradition is what others feel define a marriage and support the president’s move..

DR. Don Dunlap, A Tallahassee family counselor, says, “Sad that it has to come to that, but I think it will take a universal or federal law to protect families.”

Still, others claim a constitutional amendment is a hasty move.

“We should be able to have a healthy debate on a state by state level, take 3-4 years to make a decision. I don't think we should jump the gun and put it on the constitution,” says FSU student Michael Brande.

The president did suggest state legislators define legal arrangements other than marriage, saying this amendment would allow states to establish civil unions.