Proponents of gay marriage turned out in West Hollywood on Wednesday evening for a victory celebration after the Supreme Court issued two decisions widely viewed as historic victories for supporters of gay rights.
The event was hosted by the American Foundation for Equal Rights, which backed a challenge against Proposition 8, the voter-approved ban on same-sex marriages in California. The high court let stand a lower court's ruling against the ban.
"Proposition 8 is over and done with and thank God for that!" said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to huge cheers.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday also threw out the federal Defense of Marriage Act, calling it unconstitutional. Both decisions came down on a 5-to-4 vote.
Thousands of people turned out to celebrate and hear remarks from an array of voices, including the plaintiffs in the Prop 8 case, the co-founder of AFER, and the mayors of West Hollywood and Los Angeles.
Bill Hacket was one of those waiting for the rally to start just before 5:30 p.m. He was joined by his husband, Thom Uber.
"The celebration today is about marriage equality and the right of same-sex couples to marry — same right that was afforded to me five years ago when I got married in a small window of opportunity in 2008. So this is all about equality, and this is all about love, and this is a joyous day," Hacket said.
Audrey Lockwood, a financial planner who lives in Highland Park, said she came to celebrate just for "the beauty of it, and the loveliness of so many people that will be encouraged by the Supreme Court decision."
Lockwood said she had a longtime partner but that she was not sure yet whether she would take advantage of the opportunity to marry.
"I'm an old dinosaur from the 20th century, and I've been dragged into the 21st century. And I'd like to celebrate young people, but I'm not so sure about myself," Lockwood said.
Meanwhile, opponents of same-sex marriage in California said Wednesday that the battle over same-sex marriage is not over.
Bryan Fischer, a spokesperson for the American Family Association, which put $500,000 into the Prop 8 campaign in 2008, told KPCC that while opinions in California have since shifted to support same-sex marriage, other states might enact bans because the Supreme Court left intact the right of states to define marriage for themselves.
This story has been updated.
Note: A previous version of this story indicated there would be a live video stream. The host of that stream, the American Foundation for Equal Rights, has informed us that they were unable to get the stream working.