The National Cathedral held a special prayer service for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender families after two historic Supreme Court rulings Wednesday upheld the legality of same-sex marriage.
The service came hours after the high court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act. The ruling will allow the federal goverment to recognize same-sex marriages in states where they are legal.
The justices also ruled Wednesday that the litigants who brought California's Proposition 8 to the court had no legal standing to do so. That decision will allow same-sex marriages to resume in California.
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"My personal journey toward acceptance as a lesbian was long and hard," Rev. Linda Kaufman said. "My wife and I have been together for 15 years. We have two adopted sons."
Kaufman said she is relieved that she will no longer have to worry how her wife and children will get by after she dies.
"I've been working since I was 15 years old, paying into the social security system, and until today, every time I opened my statement, I was confronted by the fact that my life partner would get nothing."
The National Cathedral had scheduled its service in advance of the rulings to allow families to celebrate or grieve the outcomes, whatever they may have been.
The cathedral's dean, the Rev. Gary Hall, announced in January that the cathedral would begin performing same-sex marriages.
The cathedral said in advance of the rulings that it would continue to advocate for same-sex marriage regardless of what the court decided.