Crowds react to Supreme Court's marriage equality ruling

  • Women kiss each other as people celebrate outside the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York June 26, 2015. The Supreme Court ruled on Friday that the U.S. Constitution provides same-sex couples the right to marry, handing a historic triumph to the American gay rights movement. 
  • Cathy Marino-Thomas, 54, Board President of Marriage Equality USA, hugs her wife, Sheila Marino-Thomas (in blue,) 52, during a rally in front of the Stonewall Inn in New York City on June 26, 2015, in support of the Supreme Court’s landmark decision guaranteeing nationwide gay marriage rights. 
  • Gerald Gafford, right, comforts his partner of 28 years, Jeff Sralla, left, as they stand before Judge Amy Clark Meachum to receive obtain a time waiver at the Travis County Courthouse after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry nationwide, Friday, June 26, 2015, in Austin, Texas. The court’s 5-4 ruling means the remaining 14 states, in the South and Midwest, will have to stop enforcing their bans on same-sex marriage. Sralla broke into tears as the judge approved the waiver allowing the couple to get married this weekend.
  • (L-R) Cindy Jackson, a science teacher at Grace Church High School, and her partner, Denise Niewinski, Deputy Director of LGBTQ Policy and Practice at ACS, celebrate alongside Thomas Kirdahy, producer, and his partner, Terrence McNally, playwright, before Mayor Bill de Blasio performs marriage and vows renewal ceremonies for each couple in front of City Hall on June 26, 2015 in New York City. Today the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have the right marry in all 50 states. 
  • Judge Dennise Garcia, left front, watches as George Harris, center left, 82, and Jack Evans, center right, 85, kiss after being married by Judge Garcia Friday, June 26, 2015, in Dallas. Gay and lesbian Americans have the same right to marry as any other couples, the Supreme Court declared Friday in a historic ruling deciding one of the nation’s most contentious and emotional legal questions. Celebrations and joyful weddings quickly followed in states where they had been forbidden. 
  • New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (unseen) officiates the marriages as he renews the vows of Terrence McNally (L) and Thomas Kirdahy on the steps of City Hall, in New York on June 26, 2015. 
  • Rodrigo Zamora (L) and Ashby Hardesty pose together for friends at the New York City clerks office after their wedding in Manhattan in New York June 26, 2015. 
  • John Lewis, left, and his husband Stuart Gaffney, plaintiffs in the 2008 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) case, hold flags and a sign reading “Love is Supreme” outside City Hall in San Francisco, Calif., June 26, 2015. 
  • Carlotta Gurl, a gay rights activist from Vancouver, Canada, celebrates inside the Stonewall Inn, an iconic gay bar recently granted historic landmark status, on June 26, 2015 in the West Village neighborhood in New York City. 
  • Demonstrators in support of same-sex marriage react after the same-sex marriage ruling outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., June 26, 2015. 
  • PFLAG members Betty Lynch, left, Carmel, Ind., and Annette Gross of Indianapolis, hug during a press conference in the Indiana Statehouse Rotunda in Indianapolis, June 26, 2015. 
  • People celebrate outside the Supreme Court in Washington, DC on June 26, 2015 after its historic decision on gay marriage. 
  • Gay rights supporters celebrate after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the U.S. Constitution provides same-sex couples the right to marry, outside the Supreme Court building in Washington, June 26, 2015. The court ruled 5-4 that the Constitution’s guarantees of due process and equal protection under the law mean that states cannot ban same-sex marriages. With the ruling, gay marriage will become legal in all 50 states.
  • The crowd reacts as the ruling on same-sex marriage was announced outside of the Supreme Court in Washington, June 26, 2015. The Supreme Court declared Friday that same-sex couples have a right to marry anywhere in the US.
  • A woman sings outside the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on June 26, 2015 after its historic decision on gay marriage. The US Supreme Court ruled Friday that gay marriage is a nationwide right, a landmark decision in one of the most keenly awaited announcements in decades and sparking scenes of jubilation.
  • Chris Svoboda, president of the Virginia Equality Bar Association, center, raises her arms in victory on the steps of the Supreme Court in Washington, June 26, 2015, after the court declared that same-sex couples have a right to marry anywhere in the US.
  • Men celebrate outside the Stonewall Inn in the West Village in New York on June 26, 2015. The US Supreme Court ruled Friday that gay marriage is a nationwide right, a landmark decision in one of the most keenly awaited announcements in decades and sparking scenes of jubilation. The nation’s highest court, in a narrow 5-4 decision, said the US Constitution requires all states to carry out and recognize marriage between people of the same sex. 
  • Jim Obergefell, the named plaintiff, center, with HRC President Chad Griffin, left, talks on the phone to President Obama on the steps of the Supreme Court following the Court’s decision on June 26, 2015 in Washington. 
  • A demonstrator in support of same-sex marriage holds a “RBG, Will You Marry Me” sign before the same-sex marriage ruling outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., U.S., on June 26, 2015. Same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry nationwide, the U.S. Supreme Court said in a historic ruling that caps the biggest civil rights transformation in a half-century.
  • Same-sex marriage supporters rejoice after the U.S Supreme Court hands down a ruling regarding same-sex marriage June 26, 2015 outside the Supreme Court in Washington, DC.
  • The U.S. Supreme Court is shrouded behind a red flag in Washington, June 26, 2015. The court ruled 5-4 that the Constitution’s guarantees of due process and equal protection under the law mean that states cannot ban same-sex marriages. With the ruling, gay marriage will become legal in all 50 states.
  • As seen on the reflection on her glasses, Katherine Nicole Struck of Frederick, Md., hi-fives another same-sex marriage supporter outside the U.S. Supreme Court, June 26, 2015 in Washington, DC. 

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The Supreme Court ruled Friday that the U.S. Constitution requires states to license and recognize same-sex marriages, making marriage equality officially the law of the land.  

Crowds stationed at New York City’s historic Stonewall Inn and those waiting outside the Supreme Court reacted with elation — and, in some cases, disappointment — to the high court’s decision. 

“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority.

“In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage,” Kennedy wrote. “Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”

President Obama spoke of the ruling as the capstone of the gay rights movement. ”Sometimes, there are days like this,” the president said in a televised address from the Rose Garden, “when that slow, steady effort is rewarded with justice that arrives like a thunderbolt.”

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