BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – The very day the U.S. Supreme Court ruled same sex couples have the right to marry fell on the sixth anniversary of Billy and Pat Sandora-Nastyn’s very first date, and they couldn’t be happier. The couple live and work in downtown Buffalo.
“We are pretty open that we are married–we have our rings on, and people have been very friendly.”
The pair tied the knot in New York City, but last year decided to move to Buffalo, because of the depth of support Pat said, from Western New Yorkers for those with alternative lifestyles.
“They have a very large and accepting LGBT community and arts community , and it is a very liberally-minded and open-minded place.”
Billy agreed, “Everyone has been very open, very kind, and I enjoy it out here. I think people are much more open, maybe than people think.”
Now that the Supreme Court has ruled same sex marriage is the law of the land, Pat and Billy are happy other gay and lesbian couples in other parts of the country can enjoy their relationships as well as they have.
But the Very Rev. Arthur Ward, Rector of St. Batholomew’s Anglican Church, in Amherst, said the ruling tears at the very heart of certain faiths, who believe marriage can only take place between and man and a woman.
” A very somber and disturbing ruling, as far as I am concerned.”
Rev. Ward said the church should accept gays and lesbians, but not accept what their lifestyle.
“We welcome homosexuals in terms of those who have that orientation, but at the same time, we cannot embrace or condone the behavior.”
Opponents of same sex-marriage also worry about how the Supreme Court’s ruling could affect their tax-exempt status. While New York’s Marriage Equality Act specifically allowed churches and other institutions to refuse to conduct same sex marriages, without being penalized, the high court’s ruling might eventually take that option away.