(AP) The Supreme Court has issued a pair of significant but incomplete victories for supporters of gay marriage.
In one 5-to-4 ruling, the court struck down a provision of a federal law that denied federal benefits to gay married couples. The provision of the Defense of Marriage Act kept legally-married same-sex couples from receiving tax, health and pension benefits that go to married couples of the opposite sex.
In the other, also a 5-to-4 ruling, the justices said nothing at all about same-sex marriage itself. But they left in place a finding by a trial court that California's Proposition 8 -- banning same-sex marriage -- is unconstitutional.
That's an outcome that will probably allow California officials to order the resumption of same-sex weddings in the state in about a month.
President Barack Obama has telephoned his congratulations to the plaintiffs in a gay marriage case before the Supreme Court.
Obama telephoned gay rights advocate Chad Griffin, who had the couple in a California gay marriage case listen in.
The White House confirmed that Obama placed the call as he flew to Africa aboard Air Force One.
New York Sentator Chuck Schumer (D) sent these tweets following the decision:
Same sex marriage is supported by a majority of Americans, to delay its advent is unfair to LGBT couples & an affront to the American ideal.
The Supreme Court did the right thing today; the march to equality in America is unstoppable.