The Supreme Court on Wednesday helped the gay-rights movement take two giant steps forward. In one ruling, the court declared that the federal Defense of Marriage act was unconstitutional, allowing same-sex couples to receive federal benefits. Then the court effectively quashed California's voter-approved ban on gay marriage, known as Proposition 8, by ordering an appeals court to dismiss a case defending the ban.
As the back-to-back rulings were announced, gay rights supporters across the country turned to one another in utter jubilation — tears were shed, kisses were shared, and hearty hugs were passed around. Here, a roundup of such heartwarming reactions.
Michael Knaapen (left) and his husband John Becker embrace outside the Supreme Court. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
People in Miami literally jump for joy. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Same-sex couple Lisa Kirk (left) and Lena Brancatelli laugh and cry while sharing the news with Brancatelli's mom over the phone. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Sue Rochman (left) and Robin Romdalvik kiss while standing with their son, Maddox, at a gathering at San Francisco's City Hall. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)
American University students Sharon Burk (left) and Mollie Wagoner embrace in D.C. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Colby Melvin (left) and Brandon Brown hug at a bar in West Hollywood, Calif. (REUTERS/Jonathan Alcorn)
Ellen Pontac (left) and her wife Shelly Bailes look downright ecstatic in Sacramento. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Lisa Dzaols (right) and Jenny Chang came dressed for the occasion outside San Francisco's City Hall. (REUTERS/Jed Jacobsohn)
Patrons hold each other close at the Stonewall Inn in New York City. (REUTERS/Brendan McDermid)
Supporters applaud DOMA plaintiff Edie Windsor in Manhattan. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)