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Local gay and lesbians react to Supreme Court's ruling on same sex marriage

SALT LAKE, CITY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - Hugs and tears of joy ran down the faces of those gathered at the Utah Pride Center.
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 UTAH) - It was an emotional and celebratory day for gay and lesbian couples and their supporters after hearing the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on gay marriage.

The court struck down the Federal Defense of Marriage Act, which would have prevented same sex marriages from being recognized from state to state. They also ruled California's Proposition 8 will go back to the state, meaning it is up to California for making its decision to allow same sex marriage.

Hugs and tears of joy ran down the faces of those gathered at the Utah Pride Center. For Colleen Mewing and Jolene Abbott they say the decision will change their life. "I will actually see marriage in my lifetime. I will not be a second class citizen anymore,” says Abbott.

The Couple says this day is monumental for gay and lesbians across the country and the change it brings for years ahead. "We've come so far and to be honest I didn't know if we would ever experience this in our lifetime, and I hoped that we would because it paves the way for those coming behind us and hopefully they don't have the struggles like we've had,” says Mewing.

Utah Pride's Executive Director Valarie Larabee tells ABC 4 Utah she is elated with the Supreme Court’s ruling calling it a day of celebration. “It's also a really personal day for so many of us who are married and know it's the right thing for our country."

As for locally Larabee says the beehive state still has a long way to go when it comes to opening the hearts and minds of Utah gay and lesbian citizens, but they are headed in the right direction. "Here in Utah I think marriage is a ways away and we have a lot of work to do as far as anti-discrimination and housing and work place discrimination,” says Larabee.

Meanwhile for Abbott and Mewing they already have big plans ahead of them. "We plan on getting married next year sometime. We're hoping at some point during that time Utah will recognize same sex marriage as well.”

Gay marriage supporters will continue to celebrate Wednesday at Club Sound from 4 to 7 p.m. 



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