WASHINGTON Chanting "DOMA is Dead," supporters of same-sex marriage burst into cheers and some wept openly upon hearing word of the Wednesday striking down a federal law defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
Some in the crowd hugged and others jumped up and down just after 10 a.m. EDT Wednesday when the decision was announced. Many people were on their cell phones monitoring Twitter, news sites and blogs for word of the decision. And there were cheers as runners came down the steps with the decision in hand and turned them over to reporters who quickly flipped through the decisions.
Chants of "Thank you" and "USA" came from the crowd as plaintiffs in the cases descended the court's marbled steps
Same-sex marriage supporters across the country reacted with joy at the Supreme Court rulings Wednesday on the Defense of Marriage Act and California's Prop 8. Below is a look at reactions in various states.
SAN FRANCISCO San Francisco officials and the city's former mayor are claiming victory after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling left in place a trial court's declaration that California's ban on same-sex marriages is unconstitutional.
Former Mayor Gavin Newsom said at City Hall after Wednesday's ruling that San Francisco is a city of "doers" that not only tolerates diversity, but celebrates it every day. He called Wednesday a special day.
Newsom ordered city officials to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples in 2004, starting gay marriage in California.
City Attorney Dennis Herrera called the ruling a great victory. He said people criticized the city in 2004, saying it was moving too fast in granting marriage licenses. But he said he believes the only way to get things done is to "kick down the door."
CHICAGOSeveral supporters of gay marriage were glued to their laptops at a Chicago community center to follow the Supreme Court's decisions on the matter.
Twenty-seven-year-old graduate student Jason Orne said in reaction that "change is only a matter of time."
The court struck down part of a law that denied federal benefits to legally married gay couples.
Orne posted the 5-4 vote count on Facebook and minutes later had 10 likes.
The court also cleared the way for the resumption of same-sex marriage in California.
Orne was joined at the community center by his partner 26-year-old Austin Duus, who said Wednesday's decisions were "hugely good news for everybody."
Both said the decisions put extra pressure on state lawmakers in Illinois to make gay marriage legal in the state.
PITTSBURGHAt least 250 people gathered on a downtown Pittsburgh street closed for the occasion were cheering U.S. Supreme Court decisions on gay marriage.
City Councilman Bruce Kraus told the crowd Wednesday morning, "To my fellow gay, lesbian, transsexual and queer friends, welcome to full equality."
City police have issued a permit for Wednesday's rally on Liberty Avenue, during which a portion of the busy downtown artery was to remain closed from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
The Delta Foundation of Pittsburgh organized the rally, which was called "Riot or Rejoice."
NEW YORKRevelers are celebrating the U.S. Supreme Court's rulings on same-sex marriage at New York City's best-known gay bar.
Cheers erupted at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village on Wednesday when the court ruled that legally married same-sex couples should get the same federal benefits as heterosexual couples.
Ashley Louise and her girlfriend Danielle Gerson cried and passed a bottle of Champagne. Louise said she felt like "a first class citizen" now.
The court also cleared the way for same-sex marriage in California by ruling against defenders of a gay marriage ban there.
Patrons at the Stonewall are credited with sparking the gay rights movement when they fought back against a police raid in 1969.
MINNEAPOLIS Some of the people who fought to legalize gay marriage in Minnesota are rejoicing over a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that such couples should get the same federal benefits as heterosexual couples.
Democratic Rep. Steve Simon of Hopkins says the high court ruling Wednesday gives further legitimacy to the marriages of Minnesota gay couples when they begin Aug. 1.
Among the many federal benefits that married gay couples will now enjoy is the right to file federal taxes jointly. The ruling also has implications for some health care benefits and Social Security benefits.
Richard Carlbom, the strategist who led the campaign to legalize gay marriage in Minnesota, says the ruling is about more than benefits. Carlbom says the federal government is saying that gays are equal citizens under the law.
CONCORD, N.H. New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan says the Supreme Court's ruling that legally married same-sex couples should get the same federal benefits as heterosexual couples will make a real difference in the lives of families who have been denied federal benefits, forced to pay higher taxes and treated as less than equal.
Hassan said Wednesday the American mission has always been to move forward, to build a brighter future by fully including all of the people in our society. She said the high court's ruling represents a historic step forward in that never-ending missing.
The court on Wednesday invalidated a provision of the Defense of Marriage Act that has prevented married gay couples from receiving a range of tax, health and retirement benefits that are generally available to married people.