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RECAP: Supreme Court decisions on DOMA and Prop 8
WASHINGTON DC -- The Supreme Court handed down two landmark rulings on same-sex marriage today.
The court ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional because it denies federal benefits to same-sex couples who are legally married.
The decision means legally married same-sex couples will now be eligible for federal benefits.
In a second, separate case, the court declined to rule on Prop 8, California's controversial ban on same-sex marriage.
Same sex marriage is legal in 12 states and the District of Columbia.
A historic ruling and on the steps of the US Supreme Court a crowd overjoyed.
"I couldn't be more proud of my country and of the Supreme Court today."
The court struck down parts of the Defense Of Marriage Act -- also known as DOMA. The ruling will allow same-sex spouses to receive certain federal benefits in states where their marriage is legal.
"DOMA is gone. This is a major, broadly written opinion which strikes down the law that it discriminates against gay people."
Then, the court dismissed an appeal regarding California's Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage.
The ruling means same-sex marriages can resume in California.
"Justice will be done for loving LGBT couples across my home state"
Those opposed to the rule say this is a sad day.
"I believe that marriage is a pre-political institution, that it's one of God's greatest gifts to all his human creatures and it always has been and must be the union of a man and woman."
Edith Windsor was the plaintiff in the DOMA case.
She had to pay additional estate taxes following her partner's death.
"We won everything we asked and hoped for. Wow."
President Obama, who announced his support for same-sex marriage in 2012, released a statement saying in part:
"The laws of our land are catching up to the fundamental truth that millions of Americans hold in our hearts: when all Americans are treated as equal, no matter who they are or whom they love, we are all more free."