These 12 loving couples in California are having a really great day

UPDATE - 07/28/13 at 7:03pm: It's happening now! Moments ago, the Ninth Circuit lifted its stay, which means same-sex couples in California can begin marrying immediately! Read more here. The wait is over - congraulations to the happy couples who will finally be married in California at long last!

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Today, the Supreme Court of the United States announced its decisions in two landmark cases concerning the freedom to marry - including in Hollingsworth v. Perry, the legal challenge to Proposition 8, the 2008 California ballot initiative that stripped same-sex couples of the freedom to marry the person they love.

The Supreme Court dismissed Perry, declaring that the proponents of Prop. 8 lacked legal standing to appeal the lower court rulings that had already invalidated Prop. 8. This means that same-sex couples will soon be able to marry in California once again. California is now the 13th state to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage - and now, nearly one third of the U.S. population (93 million Americans) will live in a state where same-sex couples can marry. Read the full ruling.

It's a great day for loving and committed couples in California - and nationwide.  To celebrate, take a look at 12 great couples in California who are celebrating the big victory from this morning. 

Osvelio Lastre & Marc Biasetti

San Fernando Valley, CA

 

After almost 16 years of love and commitment, Osvelio and Marc, both raised in California, are looking forward to finally getting married. The couple, who have been living together since 1999, have long been awaiting today's historic decision by the Supreme Court. "As a married couple, we will be treated as equals under the law like my brother and his wife are," Osvelio said. "This means that we don't have to worry about our future and having to jump through hoops, easing many of the questions and concerns we previously had." 

Corrie Sharp & Jennifer Tom

San Diego, CA 

Last fall, after nine and a half years of commitment, Corrie and Jennifer flew across the country to Provincetown, MA to marry in a legal wedding ceremony. Today, they're ecstatic that they'll be able to reaffirm their love in the state where they have lived together for so long. "We felt confident in our decision to marry in Massachusetts," Corrie said. "That wasn't just because it was a wonderful experience there - but because we had faith in the California judicial system in making this right, and that our marriage would be someday recognized at home." The victory today at the Supreme Court allows them, finally, to enjoy that recognition. Read more about Corrie and Jennifer HERE.  

Shavonda & Naomi 

Sacramento, CA

Two years ago, Shavonda and Naomi celebrated their commitment to each other in style in Sacramento by hosting a beautiful ceremony supported exclusively by businesses and vendors that advocate for ending the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage. "It's such a huge deal to promise your commitment to the person you love," Shavonda said to EquallyWed.com. "Naomi is the air I breathe so having our friends witness my promise of commitment to her and our relationship was monumental for me." Read more about Shavonda and Naomi at EquallyWed.com HERE.

Wade Shipman & Jonathan Fillingane

San Diego, CA 

For two years, Jonathan and Wade have been living in San Diego, CA, the state where Wade was born, and in that time, they've been eagerly watching the Perry case work its way through the courts. Today, they're celebrating the fact that soon, the freedom to marry will be restored in their state, and they will be able to marry. "No one should be able to step in between us when it comes to making our life decisions," Wade said about his 6-year commitment to Jonathan. "We have found a love that is rare and precious - and every year that goes by makes our bond stronger. Overturning Prop 8 means that our government is finally delivering on the promise of freedom for us in this country."

Bill Horn & Scout Masterson

Los Angeles, CA 

Bill, Scout, and their daughter Simone are enthusiastically celebrating the return of the freedom to marry in California. Now, after 11 years of commitment - and four years after they promised their commitment to each other in a non-legal ceremony in California - they can finally tie the knot and protect their family. "Seeing Prop 8 and DOMA overturned is fantastic," Bill said. "It means that in the eyes of the law, our relationship is as valid as anyone else's - and that includes all of the protections that marriage affords." Read more about Bill and Scout HERE.

Thom Watson & Jeff Tabaco

San Francisco, CA

After years of waiting for the freedom to marry to be restored in California, Thom and Jeff are excited to finally be able to legally marry. They had a commitment ceremony several years ago in California, but they have been anxiously awaiting a ruling in the Proposition 8 case so they could access the full respect and protections that marriage provides couples. "It was part of me - the Californian in me wanted it here in my home state," Jeff said. Now, along with thousands of other loving couples, they'll be able to. Read more about Thom and Jeff. (Photo by Julie Bernstein)

Megan Franklin & Marlee Malone

Brea, CA

Last month, on May 17, 2013 - the nine year anniversary of the first marriages between same-sex couples in the United States (in Massachusetts) - Megan and Marlee promised their commitment to each other in a beautiful ceremony in Los Angeles. Now that the freedom to marry will return to California, they're excited to get their marriage license. The couple, who have been dating for three and a half years, met nearly ten years ago in their hometown of Orange County, CA and were best friends in high school and college before their friendship "blossomed into something more." They're thrilled to be able to legally marry in their home state. "It's absolutely freeing!" Megan said. "Being unable to get married has educated us about what legal implications marriage has, and we are so, so excited that we'll be able to legalize our commitment." Photo by Robyn Tiffany

Mignon Moore & Elaine Harvey

Los Angeles, CA 

Mignon and Elaine, who married in New York in 2012, where they grew up, are celebrating today's victory in Los Angeles, CA, where they have lived since 2008 as domestic partners. "When marriage became legal in New York in 2011, we said, ‘You know what? Even though we live in California, we can't wait for California to do this,'" Mignon said, referencing their decision to marry in New York. Now that the freedom to marry will soon return to California, however, they will be able to affirm their marriage in their home state and enjoy the full legal respect of their commitment. Read more about Mignon and Elaine HERE.   

Renata Moirera & Lori Bilella

San Francisco, CA

Renata and Lori have been together for over four years - and they're thrilled that today, they'll have the opportunity to marry in the city where they live. Last winter, Renata told SF Weekly, "It really is heartbreaking that I might have to fly to another state to be recognized as a wife." Now that the Supreme Court has stood on the Right Side of History, they no longer will have to do that. Read more about Renata and Lori. 

Tony Ring & Kevin Dowell

San Bruno, CA 

 Nearly one year after promising their commitment to each other in a beautiful ceremony in Lake Tahoe - on August 4, 2012 - Tony and Kevin are celebrating the fact that they'll now be able to legally marry in their home state. "This is our marriage," Tony said. "Our love, our commitment, our promise. Our relationship is real. Our commitment is permanent. Our marriage symbolizes our promise to build our lives together and stay true to one another until the very end. It acknowledges that we have found the one. That this is something special." Now, California will finally be able to respect their commitment and honor their love. Read more about Kevin and Tony HERE. 

Stephanie Hayer & Stephanie Gonzales

Long Beach, CA

Stephanie and Stephanie are one of 18,000 couples who married in California during the 5-month window between the CA Supreme Court extending the freedom to marry to same-sex couples (in May '08) and Proposition 8 taking that freedom away (in November '08). They married on October 11, 2008, National Coming Out Day, and are thrilled that other same-sex couples like them will be able to tie the knot in the state. They're excited that their son and daughter, born in 2007 and 2009, respectively, won't have to worry about why their families like theirs can no longer be married in their home state.

Corri & Dianne Hardy-Garcia

Los Angeles, CA

Corri and Dianne have been together for ten years - and they are one of 18,000 same-sex couples who married in California in the five month window between May and November 2008. As longtime activists for the LGBT community, both women were devastated when Prop 8 passed - and now, they're thrilled to see it overturned for good. "I feel very grateful to live in this country today, a place where change is possible," Dianne said. "Not always easy, but possible. It feels like a real gift." Corri added: "I was optimistic that the Court would rule in favor of fairness and equality - the arguments were just so compelling and it was time. But even now, a few hours after the decisions came down, it's hard to totally comprehend the magnitude of these victories. Last night, I went into my daughters' room and kissed them both on the head and hoped that they would wake up to an affirming message about their family, their country and the values of fairness and equality. I'm beyond grateful that they did." Read more about Corri and Dianne.