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Loud reaction to Supreme Court's rulings on gay rights

Published On: Jun 26 2013 08:16:59 PM CDT   Updated On: Jun 26 2013 09:24:44 PM CDT
CHICO, Calif. -

Like most of the Northstate, people in Butte County had some strong opinions about Wednesday's Supreme Court decisions.

Most of the people we spoke to in Chico were excited about the rulings, but there are some who say the people's will was ignored.

For many in the gay community though, Wednesday was a huge relief.     

“Well I got up around 5 this morning, I couldn't sleep.  We've been waiting for this day for a very long time as you might imagine,” said Alexa Benson-Valavanis, a Chico woman in a same-sex relationship.

Alexa and Melinda Benson-Valavanis were one of the many gay couples on pins and needles Wednesday morning waiting to hear the decisions.  Once they heard the decision, they said they could not believe it.

“As an American, I was so happy to see our justice system working but on a personal level to be validated in that way; to be treated as equal,” said Alexa Benson-Valavanis.

“So be gay in the middle when all of this is happening is just amazing because you know in a few generations they'll be reading about us,” said Melinda Benson-Valavanis.

Alexa and Melinda have been married for three years and say they have experienced their fair share of discrimination.

"When you realize you're a minority and the majority is speaking of you like you're less than equal, it's disappointing that's not how our hearts work at all,” said Melinda Benson-Valavanis.

There are some who don't view it the same way.

“Marriage is defined between a man and a woman.  That’s how God institute it and to give benefits to anyone else is a non marriage.  We don't consider it to be marriage in the eyes of God,” said Pastor Donald Jordan.

Jordan is the head pastor at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Chico.  He says he and his church have supported Prop 8 from the get go.  Jordan explains his church accepts everyone including homosexuals, but he believes that marriage should be kept between a man and a woman.

“I always tell people here at church that all sinners are welcome here but we call people to repent of their sin whatever that sin might be and receive forgiveness in the Gospel,” said Jordan.

“Most of the people that are nay-sayers are speaking on the behalf of Christ and because I was raised in a Christian home, I think my response what would Jesus do?” said Melinda Benson-Valavanis.

Same sex marriages won't be able to begin until the Ninth Circuit U.S Court of Appeals lifts its stay.  That’s expected to happen in about 25 days.