South Mississippi woman is thrilled about DOMA ruling

Bethany Fayard
Bethany Fayard
Bethany Fayard and her wife.
Bethany Fayard and her wife.

ST. MARTIN, MS (WLOX) - Bethany Fayard and her wife wed three years ago in their Ocean Springs church surrounded by family and friends and then tied the knot legally in 2011 in New York.

While love was her motivation for marriage she says the Supreme Court ruling is a plus.

"I'm really excited that my marriage is federally recognized. We had no idea when we got married that would ever happen, and we didn't get married for the federal benefits. But it will definitely impact our life in a positive way," Fayard said.

Legal scholars are now studying the ruling to figure out how this applies in states like Mississippi, which do not recognize gay marriage. Fayard says it would be beneficial if she and her wife could file taxes together, get social security benefits and become eligible for more than a thousand other federal programs heterosexual couples can access.

Even more important to Fayard would be the ability to make medical decisions.

"If we were unable to do it for ourselves, our families, our blood families could come in maybe a third cousin from somewhere who haven't seen us in years, step in as the next of kin and make those decisions for us and cut the other one out, and that can't happen anymore," Fayard said. "We are married, and we will be treated as such under the law in those situations. And that is a great comfort to me."

For Fayard and others in the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) community it is more than just benefits, it is about equality.

"I'm just excited, and I hope that the people of Mississippi will embrace this and don't look at it as a dividing issue. And I hope it brings people together," Fayard said.

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