The Ottumwa Courier

AP National

June 26, 2013

Gay rights supporters erupt in cheers over ruling

WASHINGTON (AP) — Chanting "DOMA is Dead," supporters of same-sex marriage burst into cheers and some wept openly upon hearing word of the Supreme Court's decision Wednesday striking down a federal law defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

Some in the crowd hugged and others jumped up and down just after 10 a.m. EDT Wednesday when the decision was announced. Many people were on their cell phones monitoring Twitter, news sites and blogs for word of the decision. And there were cheers as runners came down the steps with the decision in hand and turned them over to reporters who quickly flipped through the decisions.

Chants of "Thank you" and "USA" came from the crowd as plaintiffs in the cases descended the court's marbled steps

Sarah Prager, 26, cried and was shaking when she heard the news, and she and a stranger hugged. Prager, who married her wife in Massachusetts in 2011, said she was in shock. "Oh that's so good. It's just really good," she said.

"I'm in shock. I didn't expect DOMA to be struck down," she said through tears and shaking. Prager was referring to the Defense of Marriage Act, signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996. Gay rights activists had argued that the law effectively denied same-sex married couples the federal benefits that heterosexual couples enjoyed.

Amanda Klinger, 29, and Caroline Hunt, 26, of Washington, DC, were awaiting the ruling anxiously.

Hunt said she cried and jumped up and down when she heard the news from a neighbor in the crowd, said she felt "relieved." Klinger said she no longer feels like "a second class citizen." The two are planning a wedding in Massachusetts in August and planned a civil ceremony in DC before. They said they planned to celebrate Wednesday's decisions by going to the D.C. courthouse and applying for a marriage license.

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