June 26, 2013 will go down in American history as one of the most important dates in America's civil rights history. In the years to come, people will ask us where we were the day the Defense of Marriage Act died. From Washington D.C. to San Francisco here's what the country looked like:
The Stonewall Inn in New York City. This is where it all began in 1969. On Friday it will mark 44 years to the day that a group of gay people fought back against a police raid, which sparked the beginning of the gay rights movement. The official rally for the bar begins at 5:30 p.m. today, but that didn't stop queer men and women from stopping by the Greenwich Village bar and commemorating today's news.
According to ACT UP, an organization devoted to raising AIDS awareness, there was actually a kiss-in meant to raise HIV awareness that turned into a kiss-in at Stonewall in light of the DOMA and Prop. 8 decisions:
And another shot of the interior from Instagram user relenamor:
About a ten-minute walk away, DOMA plaintiff Edie Windsor was at New York City's LGBT center making our hearts melt:
The Castro, San Francisco. The Castro is marrow of San Francisco's gay culture and the city got to enjoy a double-dip of sorts now that gay marriages will be allowed in California, and those spouses will enjoy federal benefits. That went over well in this neighborhood:
Some people celebrated by getting engaged:
Others just said yes to the dress (and parrots):
City Hall, San Francisco. As we mentioned, Governor Jerry Brown has already started the process so that gay marriages can once again start in the state of California. Here's how the scene unfolded there. This shot from the AP was taken this morning:
Here's the anxious waiting inside before the decision was read:
Awaiting the Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage. Packed San Francisco City Hall. pic.twitter.com/qRKt4EvsuP— Cecilia Vega (@CeciliaVegaABC) June 26, 2013
And here's the moment when people figured out the Court had decided on Prop. 8. This is what relief and happiness look like:
This is Phyllis Lyon who is hugging her attorney after hearing news about today's decisions. Lyon and her partner, the late Del Martin, were the first same-sex couple in the state to get married. Martin, died in 2008:
And this is Lyon with San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee in one amazing shot:
And more happy people inside City Hall celebrating the victory:
The Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C. This of course, is where everything went down this morning.
Smiles of victory:
And the true sign of a civil rights win, a fist pump from Jeff Zarrillo, a fellow plaintiff in the Prop. 8 case:
That said, you'll notice some places weren't as packed as others—some of us have day jobs. What we're actually is that peak celebrations will occur right after work. The Stonewall rally is planned for 5:30 p.m., and on the West Coast a rally in West Hollywood is also set for 5:30.