GREENWICH VILLAGE (PIX11) – They came by the hundreds to heart of Greenwich Village, where some say is the birthplace of the gay rights movement, to celebrate and support the Supreme Court ruling that struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
“We are so happy to be Americans today,” said Anthony Brown as his 4-year-old son Nicholas sitting on his shoulders screamed, “Yeah!”
Little Nicolas and his dads, Brown and Gary Spino, have been a family for 4 years.
Brown and Spino have been together for 25.
“We went to Canada 8 years ago, the first place we could go where it was legal to get married and for the first day our marriage is now federally recognized,” said Brown.
What that means, is for couples like them, who are already married, the federal government says, every state must recognize their marriage. Plus, they are entitled to equal benefits under federal law.
“Simple things, like when my father died and my mom got his stepped up social security benefit. Now, we will be entitled to that and it will protect Nicholas. So that he is secure,” said Brown.
Rabbi Rachel Weiss and her wife Julia Tauber feel the same way.
“It means that all of the 1100 benefits that straight couples get, just because they happen to be straight, are blessings that we get to have as well. Its protection for our 4 1/2 year old and our child who is on the way,” said Weiss patting her pregnant belly. She is due in August.
“We are more protected, like the home we own, social security, visitation in hospitals. And It’s recognition that we indeed have a relationship that is just as sacred, just as holy, just as civilly important as the straight couple next door,” she said.
Both couples attended the impromptu rally near the famed Stonewall Inn, hours after the Supreme Court made it’s rulings on key same sex marriage cases, DOMA and California’s Prop 8.
The star of the rally was the very woman who brought the case against DOMA to the Supreme Court, 84-year-old Edie Windsor.
She had this to say straight to the Supreme Court. “Thank you for affirming the principle of equal justice under the law,” Windsor said.
As victorious as this day is for many of these folks, there are still dozens of states that have not legalized same sex marriage.
“There’s still work to be done but this is huge first step. every time I introduce Gary as my husband, people are going to look at us a little different now. And I’m so happy about that,” said Brown.