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Minutes after 10 a.m. on Wednesday, the world learned that the Supreme Court had struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, enacted in 1996, which defined marriage as a legal relationship between a man and a woman. (Soon after, they learned that the Court reinstated a lower court's ruling over Proposition 8, thereby invalidating it.) Among those who had closely followed the twists and turns of the legal case for gay marriage — in other words, the pundit class of Washington, D.C. and New York — reaction spanned the gamut of emotion: elation, relief, conviction, surprise, even peace. Of course, many were simply unfazed. And a few were resigned. Here's a guide to what they're saying:


BuzzFeed's Liza Tozzi pointed to a video of President Obama congratulating the plaintiffs of Hollingsworth v. Perry, which challenged California's Proposition 8:


At The American Prospect, however, Gabriel Arana warns gay marriage supporters not to lose steam:

Some gay-rights supporters are breathing a sigh of relief. When star legal team of Ted Olsen and David Boies first filed their challenge to Prop. 8 in 2008, many in the LGBT legal rights movement feared it was too soon to ask the "big question"—do same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry?—and that the Court would issue a broad ruling finding that discrimination against gay people was fairly easy to justify. Today’s decision amounts to a side-step; this is not the Court’s last word on the same-sex marriage question. But for the moment, the fight is back in the hands of the states.


The aforementioned Sullivan, who wrote a seminal essay on gay marriage in 1989 for The New Republic, later congratulated NBC correspondent and recent Vine star Peter Williams, who is gay:

Great to see Pete Williams analyze the opinion for NBC—a long time after he was brutally outed, even when he was always out, always principled, and in a relationship that has lasted much of his lifetime. Proud of you, Pete, for thriving through all of it … until you got to do this. Amazing, innit?

(In 1991, the radio host Michaelangelo Signorile revealed that Williams, then serving as Assistant Secretary of Defense, was gay.)

Meanwhile, as The Atlantic Wire's Elspeth Reeve points out, many opponents of gay marriage are equally convicted about reversing the expansion of gay rights, especially those pertaining to the legal recognition of marriage.


The 5-4 ruling, with Justice Kennedy writing the majority opinion, caught even the most hardened media types off guard:


Later on Wednesday, others focused on a statement issued by Bill and Hillary Clinton celebrating the reversal of DOMA, which as President Clinton signed into law:

At RedState, Missouri radio host and CNN personality Dana Loesch suggests that Clinton's role in DOMA's enactment indicates today's ruling is in fact a loss for Democrats, who have forcefully campaigned on behalf of expanding gay rights:

The bottom line is that today’s ruling was once again a failure of Democrats’s big government. Democrats campaigned on DOMA, championed it, Clinton signed it. The party who filibustered the Civil Rights Act will say they “evolved,” which is code for “waffle.” If after today Democrats want to finally agree with conservatives that big government is bad, I’m sure we’d accept their admission of error. 



Oddly enough, many right-leaning pundits treated Court ruling as basically inevitable (Girls creator Lena Dunham excepted):

Finally, resignation:

The aforementioned inevitability shaded into cynicism among the same cohort:

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