WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (KTLA) — Two landmark Supreme Court decisions in support of same-sex marriage on Wednesday made for joyous celebrations in West Hollywood.
The Supreme Court struck down a key portion of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and declined to hear an appeal from the supporters of California’s Proposition 8.
DOMA had defined marriage for federal purposes as between one man and one woman.
It denied same-sex couples who were legally married in their state the federal benefits enjoyed by married heterosexual couples.
Prop 8, passed by voters in California in 2008, banned same-sex marriage.
“This is not an issue of Republican or Democrat, it’s not an issue of conservative or liberal,” said lawyer David Boies, addressing a crowd in West Hollywood.
“It’s an issue of human rights, of civil rights, of constitutional rights,” he said.
Boies was joined by conservative attorney Ted Olson. Together, they presented the Prop 8 case to the Supreme Court.
“I was driving in my car into work and I was just like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is as good as we could have hoped,’” gay marriage proponent John Borsum said.
“It’s hard to believe, it’s hard to accept that after all these years that we’re at this point,” supporter Mark Ehrentstein said. “It’s a celebration… very, very happy.”
But even amid the revelry, gay-marriage supporters said they were aware that there was still work to be done in the 37 states that do not recognize marriage equality.
“I don’t think it’s gonna be that tough,” Boies sad. “I think that the country has changed radically in the last three or four years.”
Local couple Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo were two of the plaintiffs that pushed the Prop 8 case all the way to the Supreme Court. They also spoke in West Hollywood on Wednesday.
“It’s not every day you get a proposal on live TV and a phone call form Air Force One,” Zarrillo said.
He was referring to an on-air marriage proposal he got from partner Katami after the decisions, along with a congratulatory phone call form President Obama.
“You guys should be proud of your very… you know your… for your courage,” the president said. “You’re helping out a whole lot of people everywhere. I hope you enjoy your celebration.”