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It's a great day for love and marriage! Thanks to the Supreme Court's historic 5-4 ruling that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) violated the Fifth Amendment, hundreds of federal benefits are now available to same-sex couples. The Court also voted 5-4 to reject Proposition 8, California's same-sex marriage ban, clearing the way for gays and lesbians to once again marry in California.
The close votes didn't accompany a national statement on same-sex marriage rights and such unions continue to be illegal in 35 other states. Still, the literal and symbolic extension of the right to marry was cause for celebration for the spirited crowds outside the Supreme Court building and in cities like San Francisco. Edith Windsor, the 83-year-old plaintiff behind the challenge to DOMA that went all the way to the Supreme Court, celebrated with friends at her attorney's house before receiving a personal phone call from President Obama. She plans to celebrate at New York City's annual Pride Parade on Sunday in Manhattan, where she'll serve as a grand marshal.
Even some high-profile couples joined in on the festive mood.
For starters, Kristen Bell re-proposed to fiancé Dax Shepard on Twitter! The couple can now make good on their promise to tie the knot when California equalizes marriage rights. After Shepard proposed in 2009, Bell shot down imminent wedding rumors, saying, "I don't feel appropriate taking advantage of a right that's denied to my [gay and lesbian] friends."
Melissa Etheridge also took to Twitter to proclaim her excitement for the ruling, first Tweeting "Remember where you are today, history is made...supreme court Strikes down DOMA!," and then following up with a series of reflective tweets, including two that announced her plans to her partner of three years, TV producer Linda Wallem.
I look forward to exercising my American civil liberties...— Melissa Etheridge (@speak_true) June 26, 2013
and getting fully, completely and legally married this year to my true love of over three years, Linda Wallem.— Melissa Etheridge (@speak_true) June 26, 2013
Modern Family's Jesse Tyler Ferguson also has a personal connection to the decision—he's been engaged to Justin Mikita since September 2012, and now they can plan a spectacular and legal wedding!
Other celebrities simply expressed hope and gratitude for equality.
DOMA-it-just-lost-O Mr. Roboto! So, so happy for Edie, et al.— Neil Patrick Harris (@ActuallyNPH) June 26, 2013
First Wendy, now DOMA gets the boot! Sometimes things are really great.— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) June 26, 2013
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