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June 26, 2013
Supreme Court gives gay marriage historic boost

WASHINGTON (AP) -- In a historic day for gay rights, the Supreme Court gave the nation's legally married gay couples equal federal footing with all other married Americans on Wednesday and also cleared the way for same-sex marriages to resume in California.

In deciding its first cases on the issue, the high court did not issue the sweeping declaration sought by gay rights advocates that would have allowed same-sex couples to marry anywhere in the country. But in two rulings, both by bare 5-4 majorities, the justices gave gay marriage supporters encouragement in confronting the nationwide patchwork of laws that outlaw such unions in roughly three dozen states.

Gay-rights supporters cheered and hugged outside the court. Opponents said they mourned the rulings and vowed to keep up their fight.

(28 images)




Shelly Bailes left and her wife Ella Pontac, of Davis, Calif. react at the LGBT Sacramento Community Center to the Supreme Court decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act on Wednesday, June 26, 2013. The Sacramento Bee / Hector Amezcua
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Kate Moore left kisses her wife Tina Reynolds after they heard the announcement of the ruling by the Supreme Court that clears the way for same-sex marriages to continue in California. They were listening to the news at the LGBT Sacramento Community Center on Wednesday, June 26, 2013. The Sacramento Bee / Hector Amezcua
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Diana Luiz, hugs her friend Wendy Hill's children at the LGBT Sacramento Community Center in Sacramento, Calif. after Prop 8, California's same-sex marriage ban, was struck down by the Supreme Court on Wednesday, June 26, 2013. The Sacramento Bee / Hector Amezcua
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Shara Perkins right, Executive Director of the Sacramento LGBT Community Center, celebrates with supporters at the center in Sacramento, Calif. after the Supreme Court announced its decision on California's same-sex marriage ban and DOMA on Wednesday, June 26, 2013. The Sacramento Bee / Hector Amezcua
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San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, second from left, and Phyllis Lyon, center, celebrate with others after the Supreme Court cleared the way for same-sex marriage in California at the mayor's office at City Hall in San Francisco, Wednesday, June 26, 2013. AP / Jeff Chiu
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Sue Rochman, left, and Robin Romdalvik hug their son Maddox Rochman-Romdalvik, 8, at San Francisco's City Hall, after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling cleared the way for same-sex marriage in California on Wednesday, June 26, 2013. AP / Noah Berger
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John Lewis, left, and his partner Stuart Gaffney embrace as they react next to Andrea Shorter after the Supreme Court decision at the office of San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee at City Hall in San Francisco, Wednesday, June 26, 2013. AP / Jeff Chiu
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Sue Rochman, left, and Robin Romdalvik kiss, reacting to the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on gay marriage in California, at San Francisco's City Hall on Wednesday, June 26, 2013. The couple, accompanied by their son Maddox Rochman-Romdalvik. AP / Noah Berger
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Gay rights advocates acknowledge California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom during a celebration at San Francisco's City Hall on Wednesday, June 26, 2013, shortly after a Supreme Court decision cleared the way for same-sex marriage in California. As mayor of San Francisco in 2004, Newsom ordered city clerks to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. AP / Noah Berger
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Pam Grey, left, and Zoe Dunning kiss, reacting to the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on gay marriage in California, at San Francisco's City Hall on Wednesday, June 26, 2013. Dunning, who wed Grey, a federal employee, in 2008, will now be entitled to federal benefits. AP / Noah Berger
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Revelers drive past San Francisco City Hall waving rainbow flags and an American flag on Wednesday, June 26, 2013, shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling cleared the way for same-sex marriage in California. AP / Noah Berger
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John Lewis, left, and Stuart Gaffney embrace outside San Francisco's City Hall shortly before the U.S. Supreme Court ruling cleared the way for same-sex marriage in California on Wednesday, June 26, 2013. AP / Noah Berger
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People watch as Jerry Deal walks up Castro Street in a wedding dress after the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on gay marriage Wednesday, June 26, 2013 in San Francisco. AP / Eric Risberg
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Same sex couple Lisa Kirk, left, and Lena Brancatelli, right, cry while reacting to the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on gay marriage in California, Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at their home in San Jose, Calif. AP / Eric Risberg
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Domestic partners Alicia Guajardo, left, and Isabella Restrepo, both 24 of Los Angeles, react to the Supreme Court ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act at the offices of Equity California, the state's largest gay rights group, in West Hollywood, Calif., Wednesday, June 26, 2013. AP / Jason Redmond
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Plaintiffs in the challenge to California's Proposition 8 walk down the steps outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday, June 26, 2013. While the court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, it chose not to rule on an appeal on Proposition 8 effectively undercutting the law. Pete Marovich/ MCT / Peter Marovich
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A gay rights activist runs out of the Supreme Court in Washington, Wednesday, June 26, 2013, as rulings were handed down that impact on same-sex relationships. AP / J. Scott Applewhite
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Michael Knaapen, left, and his husband John Becker, right, embrace outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Wednesday, June 26, 2013, after the court cleared the way for same-sex marriage in California by holding that defenders of California's gay marriage ban did not have the right to appeal lower court rulings striking down the ban. AP / Charles Dharapak
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American University students Sharon Burk, left, and Molly Wagner participate in a rally for rights for gay couples in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, Wednesday, June 26, 2013, after the court cleared the way for same-sex marriage in California. AP / Charles Dharapak
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Michael Knaapen, left, and his husband John Becker, right, embrace outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Wednesday, June 26, 2013 after the court struck down a federal provision denying benefits to legally married gay couples. AP / Charles Dharapak
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Michael Knaapen, left, and his husband John Becker embrace outside the Supreme Court after hearing that the Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, Wednesday, June 26, 2013, in Washington, D.C. Pete Marovich/ MCT / Pete Marovich
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Supporters of same sex marriage celebrate outside the Supreme Court after hearing that the Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, Wednesday, June 26, 2013, in Washington, D.C. Pete Marovich/ MCT / Pete Marovich
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One Iowa Executive Director Donna Red Wing, right, reacts to the Supreme Court's decision to strike down the federal Defense of Marriage Act, Wednesday, June 26, 2013, in Des Moines, Iowa. AP / Charlie Neibergall
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One Iowa volunteer Crystal Martin reacts to the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to strike down the federal Defense of Marriage Act, Wednesday, June 26, 2013, in Des Moines, Iowa. AP / Charlie Neibergall
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Transgender woman, Nikki Araguz, reacts next to her fiancee, William Loyd, as they celebrate the U.S. Supreme Courts decision to overturn the The Defense of Marriage Act on Wednesday, June 26, 2013, in Houston. Houston Chronicle / Johnny Hanson
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Juan Talavera, right, kisses his partner Jeff Ronci after the announcement of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling at a watch party in Miami, Wednesday, June 26, 2013. The justices issued two 5-4 rulings in their final session of the term. AP / Wilfredo Lee
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Julia Tate, left, is hugged by her friend, Hunter Allen, as they celebrate a Supreme Court decision regarding gay rights on Wednesday, June 26, 2013, in Nashville, Tenn. AP / Mark Humphrey
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Valerie Larabee, executive director of the Utah Pride Center, receives a hug from Jake Jensen following a news conference Wednesday, June 26, 2013, in Salt lake City. AP / Rick Bowmer

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