Same Sex Couple Reacts to DOMA Decision - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Same Sex Couple Reacts to DOMA Decision

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By Alex Schuman

aschuman@myabc5.com

Melanie Muth and Tammy Steinwandt could not stop smiling or laughing Wednesday morning.

The two married each other almost four years ago, and are incredibly happy with the Supreme Court's decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA.

"Tears, my eyes swelled up," said Muth as she described her reaction after reading the headline.  "And then we immediately got on the phone to each other.  It's like, 'Okay, what does this mean now?'"

DOMA becoming unconstitutional means this couple can access 1,100 rights and programs that used to be exclusive to heterosexuals. 

"Now we have the same equal, wonderful rights as everybody else," said Steinwandt. 

The decision simplifies how they do their taxes, wills, pensions, and in their case, how they travel.

Melanie and Tammy take their marriage license and wills with them on every vacation.

"If something were to happen, at least we'd have that paperwork in hand that says, 'Yes, I want her to make my decisions for me.'"

They hope now the paperwork will not be necessary. 

They are looking forward to behaving exactly like any other couple, and hope this is the beginning of a time when a gay couple getting to do the same thing as a straight couple will not seem newsworthy.

"It's a new day, and a new beginning for all of us," Muth said.

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