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Historic rulings show work remains for marriage equality here

Atlanta Day of Decision rally

Christopher Dellamura joined the military in 1998 — five years after the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” ban on gay service members was enacted, and two years after the Defense of Marriage Act became the law of the land.

Now, in not even two years, he has seen both of those policies fall.

“Serving in silence was a daily burden added to the difficulties of serving in the military,” said Dellamura, an Army Chief Warrant Officer 4 stationed at Fort Benning, near Columbus, Ga. “I felt as though I lied to everyone that I worked with and this hurt almost every professional and personal relationship that I had with my co-workers.  Immediately after the repeal, if felt like a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders.”

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ANALYSIS: Marriage equality wins at Supreme Court, but no immediate change in Ga.

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The Supreme Court handed down a pair of victories for marriage equality today, striking down a key part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional and issuing a ruling in a challenge to California's Proposition 8 that should allow gay marriage to resume in that state.

The rulings do not give same-sex couples the right to marry in Georgia, but LGBT rights supporters here will join allies around the nation in hosting rallies tonight. The Atlanta rally is set for 5 p.m. at the corner of 10th Street and Piedmont Avenue.

“While we had hoped for a more expansive ruling that would immediately affect the legal status of couples here in Georgia, this is an important step towards the full legal recognition of our relationship.” said Jeff Graham, executive director of Georgia Equality, the state's largest LGBT political group.

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Supreme Court: Prop 8 supporters had no standing to defend Calif. gay marriage ban

Supreme Court

In a second 5-4 decision on gay marriage today, the Supreme Court held that supporters of California's Proposition 8, the ballot measure that ended gay marriage in the state, did not have standing to defend the law in court. In a victory for gay Californians, the court remanded the case back to the district court, which had previously thrown out Prop 8.

"We have never before upheld the standing of a private party to defend the constitutionality of a state statute when state officials have chosen not to. We decline to do so for the first time here," reads the majority opinion.

The decision should mean that same-sex couples will be able to resume marrying in California.

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[Video] Bill Clinton credits Chelsea for his change on gay marriage

Former President Bill Clinton

Former President Bill Clinton was honored over the weekend with the Advocate for Change award at the annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles, Calif.

The former president signed the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act into law and oversaw the implementation of the military's discriminatory “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” ban on gays in the military but has become a proponent of LGBT rights since his time in office ended.

Clinton credited daughter Chelsea for his change of heart during his acceptance speech.