Gays and lesbians across the United States erupted with joy on Wednesday after the Supreme Court passed two landmark rulings on same-sex marriage in their favor.
In San Francisco, which has one of the biggest gay communities in the country, more than 400 people had gathered outside City Hall for the early morning rulings broadcast from Washington, DC.
When the first ruling was announced, on the Defense of Marriage Act, the crowds erupted in cheers, stamped their feet and couples threw their arms up in the air together. "It feels good to see love triumph over ignorance, and that began here in San Francisco," said city mayor Ed Lee. The celebrations echoed those among an estimated 1,000 supporters of same-sex marriage who gathered under brilliant sunshine outside the high court in Washington for the historic rulings.
There was a more muted response in San Francisco to the Supreme Court's ruling on Proposition 8, a 2008 ballot initiative that saw the nation's most populous state ban same-sex marriage. Although it opens the door for gay couples to wed in the western state, it does not put an end to litigation.
Lisa Dazols and Jenni Chang kissed each other when the Prop 8 ruling was handed down. The couple met at an AIDS fundraiser and have been together for five years. "We'll get married now. We're going today. It feels amazing that our government supports us," said Dazols, wearing a purple tie and black vest and slacks.
"We'll pay more taxes, but that's okay," added Chang, dressed in a pristine floor-length white wedding gown. The Prop 8 decision means that the legal fight will likely return to the courts in California. "You always hope there'll be a large sweep, but we knew this would be a long fight," said Dazols. Online search giant Google also got in on the celebrations: typing "gay" into its ubiquitous search window produced a rainbow-colored box, a symbol of sexual diversity.