Range of South Florida voices, pro & con, on same-sex marriage rulings

Wilton Manors Mayor Gary Resnick riding in his city's gay pride parade on June. 22. His partner, Eric Bucher, is to Resnick's right.

“In Florida, if they want to fight, they’ll get a fight. But I’d rather not use that kid of bellicose language.

“We’re going to defend our rights. I think it’s going to galvanize conservatives because of what they’ve seen today,” Boykin said.

His overall reaction: “I was shocked. I’m truly shocked,” Boykin said.

“Those of us who believe in traditional marriage, we have a job to do, and that job is to stand firm and to be unwavering though all the celebration that we’re watching. Because traditional values have survived 6,000 years,” he said. “We owe it to our families, we owe it to our community and our nation at large to stand for traditional family values, and that means traditional marriage.”

10:47 a.m. | Enthusiastic response to rulings

At the Java Boys coffee shop in Wilton Manors, unofficial capital of South Florida’s gay and lesbian community, customers watching television coverage of the Supreme Court rulings were generally pleased – though they’d hoped for more.

“It’s a major stepping stone,” said Albie Brice of Fort Lauderdale, a clerk at a retail store, whose eyes were glued to the TV from the moment the news coverage began.

He said he isn’t too surprised that the rulings advanced the cause of gays and lesbians. “I’ve watched civil rights legislation. I’ve watched legislation for rights of women. As far as I’m concerned, it’s another day in the life of America.”

He’d like to see same-sex marriage legal in Florida. “We just have to keep pushing. It’s a matter of time,” he said.

Howard Woodkirk of Wilton Manors, retired at 55, married his long-time partner in Canada in 2005. His husband died in 2008.

“Freedom and liberties, that’s why we’re here. The United States is supposed to be free, free to live the way we want,” Woodkirk said. “It should be a non-issue as far as I’m concerned.”

He said he and his husband spent thousands of dollars to create documents that protected them since their marriage wasn’t legal. And he was fortunate, in a sense, because his husband was employed by the city of Flint, Mich., which has domestic partner benefits. That means he was able to receive his late husband’s pension.

Kyle Baker, 25, a student from Plantation, said he’s about to text his partner of two years, who’s at work in a meeting, and likely hadn’t heard the news.

“It’s inspiring. It gives hope that in the next couple of years it’ll all change,” he said.

He popped into Java Boys for a quick coffee, and didn’t expect he’d be sitting there for half an hour glued to the TV. “I usually don’t follow politics. It’s my partner who does. This could affect us.”

“We would definitely love to be able to get married,” he said.

Within the next two years, the couple plans to move to California, where his partner is from. And they’ll get married there. They’ve been together for two years.

He’s glad that the cause of same-sex marriage was advanced by the nation’s high court, but disappointed that the court didn’t go farther and legalize it everywhere.

10:10 a.m. | South Florida rallies planned

Gay rights activists are planning rallies in all three South Florida counties in response to the Supreme Court’s action.