In the second decision favorable to marriage equality advocates and deemed a victory by the LGBT community on Wednesday, the US Supreme Court ruled that it will not address the merits of a challenge to California's Proposition 8, saying those who brought the proposed ban of same-sex marriage had no legal standing to do so.
Just minutes earlier, the court also struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, a federal law that deprived legally married same-sex couples of benefits given to other married couples, was unconstitutional and "a deprivation of equal liberty."
The 5-4 ruling by the court means that same-sex couples in California will soon be free to marry once more, restoring rulings by lower federal and state courts that determined the ban was unconstitutional.
Celebrations broke out on the steps of the Supreme Court in Washington, DC and inside the rotunda at City Hall in San Francisco among other places where marriage equality advocates had gathered.
Legal experts say that California can now rely on those earlier rulings and allow the resumption of same-sex unions in a matter of weeks when the decision goes into effect.
In response, Equality California and other gay rights groups cheered the decision and tweeted:
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— Equality California (@eqca) June 26, 2013
— NOH8 Campaign (@NOH8Campaign) June 26, 2013
Breaking: Marriage is restored to California! #marriage4all
— freedomtomarry (@freedomtomarry) June 26, 2013
And Twitter otherwise was alight: