Reaction poured in from across California on Wednesday after the Supreme Court ruled Proposition 8 proponents had no legal standing to defend the measure, clearing the way for same-sex marriage to resume in the state.
The decision sends the case back to California, where state and federal judges and top officials have called same-sex marriage a matter of equal rights.
Kris Perry, a Bay Area woman who was one of the plaintiffs in the case, spoke with her partner outside the Supreme Court on Wednesday morning.
"To be able to say to the children in California, 'No matter where you live ... no matter what family you're in, you are equal,'" she said.
"The importance of this case was to send a message to the children of this country that you're just as good no matter who you love, no matter who your parents love," she continued. "Today we can go back to California and tell all four of our boys that your family is just as good as any other family."
In Los Angeles, the head of the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center called Wednesday's decision a "historic victory" in what she described as a "long and challenging struggle."
"A grievous wrong has finally been righted," Lorri L. Jean said in a statement. "Justice has prevailed and the freedom to marry for California's same-sex couples has been restored."
"As California becomes the 13th state (along with Washington, D.C) where same-sex couples can marry, we celebrate a monumental and historic victory for justice and equality, and a rejection of the bigoted, divisive politics that took this freedom from us 56 months ago"
But both Jean and Rodney Scott, president of L.A. PRIDE producer Christopher Street West, acknowledged there were more challenges ahead.
"This has been a long and emotional fight, one based on basic human rights and one based on love," Scott said in a statement. "This is not, nor has it ever been about special treatment for the LGBT community but about basic human rights. This is truly a day of celebration and while we should embrace this triumphant win, we celebrate knowing that there are still battles ahead in the fight for true equality."
In Little Saigon, Hieu Nguyen was up before 7 a.m. in anticipation of the decision. He said his group, Viet Rainbow of Orange County, formed after members were barred from marching in the Tet parade earlier this year by conservative organizers.
They've moved beyond the parade, he said, and focus their attention on educating the immigrant community and reducing stigma while working "on the intersection of what is it like to be a racial minority or to be a sexual minority."
"This is such a big part of our mission and today, the court boosted our mission," he said.
Nguyen cried, overwhelmed with emotion.
"I normally sleep until the last second, but today is a day of celebration," he said. "It lets the children and younger generation of LGBT people know they are protected."
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