The cheers inside the First English Lutheran Church on James Street in Syracuse were deafening, as dozens celebrated the Supreme Court's landmark decisions about Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act. It was one of 145 rallies held nationwide on Wednesday, organized by United for Marriage.
"I cried," said mom Krystal Galaway, at the rally with her wife and their son, Max. "I was really excited to feel safe in my state, to be recognized, for my marriage to be the same as anybody else's. It's something that you don't feel everyday."
For Cindy and Linda Burt-Kinney, the decision means greater security for the future. "To this point in time, if one of us had passed away before the other, the other would've had to pay huge inheritance taxes," explained Cindy Burt-Kinney. "The silliness is just not right."
Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, who has supported same-sex marriage for years, spoke at the rally. "It's not right to discriminate against people," said Miner. "And people should have the freedom to love who they want to love and live who they want to live with, and not have the government discriminate or make those decisions for them."
Some at the rally said they have not fully grasped the magnitude of the landmark decisions. "Having DOMA, Section 3 declared unconstitutional is beyond our wildest dreams at this point," said advocate Bonnie Strunk. "It's going to take time for this to really sink in."