Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Dent County, MO, Orders One Year of Mourning over Gay Marriage Ruling // Later Reconsiders Decision following Negative Public Reaction

The County Commission in Dent County, Missouri, was very upset that the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of nationwide gay marriage in its Obergefell v. Hodges case. The commissioners were so upset that they voted yesterday to enter into a year of mourning. The three-member commission unanimously passed a resolution that would lower flags to "just below half staff" every month on the 26th to mourn the Obergefell v. Hodges ruling.

Reactions, both locally and nationally, were negative. This inspired plans for a special session of the Dent County Commission later today or tomorrow, which is expected to rescind their previous order to lower the flag to "just below half staff":
“I’ve had a lot of personal one-on-one dialogue with members of the military,” Skiles told The Salem News Tuesday morning via telephone. “It’s a mixed bag, some support it (flag lowering) and others find it extremely offensive, and that was not our goal at all.”

Word spread quickly across the internet Monday of the commission’s flag lowering action...

The news spread quickly via Facebook, with a majority of users voicing protest, while a smaller number applauded the actions of the commissioners...
The commission voted unanimously on the motion Monday saying they would lower the flags for one year of “mourning” on the monthly anniversary of the Supreme Court’s June 26 decision that gay couples have the constitutional right to marriage.
Commissioner Darrell Skiles personally volunteered yesterday to lower the flags to less than half-staff every month on the 26th to signify his protest against the "court's stamp of approval of what God speaks of as an abomination." Commissioner Dennis Purcell approved of the flag-lowering "100 percent" and now fears that polygamy will soon be legalized. And Commissioner Gary Larson wants his constituents to know that he believes that "those supporting gay marriage are 'mixed up in the head.'" He's also tired of minority groups always getting what they want.

Meanwhile, only one gay couple has applied for a marriage license in Dent County. They are James (59) and Gary Cotner (65). They have been a couple for the past 31 years and have wanted to get married for decades.

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