BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - A local gay rights activist is weighing in on Wednesday's Supreme Court rulings. One person watching the ruling closely was Kitty Lambert Rudd.
She and her wife Cheryl were the first same-sex couple to marry in NY nearly 2 years ago. Until now, she and her wife as well as some 15,000 other same sex couples in NYS were only recognized by state government and not the federal government.
Wednesday on Allen Street in Buffalo, Lambert Rudd was greeted by many people who came up to her and hugged her. She has been a major local leader for gay rights, as the president of Outspoken for Equality. Lambert Rudd says the most important thing is, all married couples now have the same federal rights on issues like social security and health benefits.
"We're really 100 percent protected by our government now. There are still hurdles and things to be concerned with but this is amazing," she said. "I am just on cloud nine. This is as good of a day New York passed marriage. We have been just ecstatic over this."
Attorney Vince Doyle says until now, same sex couples who were married have been excluded from over a thousand federal laws.
"Going forward, those couples will receive all the federal benefits and responsibilities under federal law that they did under state law," he said. "What the Supreme Court decided today is that's a violation of the Constitution for the federal government not to recognize a marriage that is legal in the state that it occurred."
Community activist Samuel Herbert opposes gay marriage for religious reason, but says the law needs to be respected.
"I strongly believe that homosexual couples who are married should receive the same benefits as heterosexual couples. It's only right," he said.
"You can't deny a class of people protection and that's one of the reasons we were so grateful we could get it to the Supreme Court," said Lambert Rudd.
As far as Prop 8 goes, Lambert Rudd says she was hoping the Supreme Court would find no state can deny the rights of same sex couples. But overall, she is calling Wednesday a monumental day and will be throwing a Defeat of DOMA Party in Allentown, beginning at 7 p.m.
State Police need your help finding a missing woman last seen leaving M&T Bank on Main Street in Clarence this past Monday.
Police in Lockport say they have taken action after a threat was posted on a social media site from a student threatening to bring a gun to North Park School.
State Police are thanking News 4 viewers for helping them locate a man who allegedly hit a mother with his pickup truck as she loaded her two children into her vehicle and then fled the scene.
Intense Lk Snow North early heads back to Ski Country Late; General Snow Saturday
With dozens of anti-fracking activists packing the gallery, the Legislature voted to ban hydro-fracking in Erie County.
Nushawn Williams is still being held under the state's civil confinement law. He returned to court Thursday where a judge will soon rule on the type of restrictions Williams will face.