Both sides express view of Supreme Court decisions on DOMA, Prop 8

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The nation's highest court handed down two historic rulings bolstering support for gay marriage, giving tens of thousands of Americans federal rights and protections they were once denied.

The other ruling clears the way for same-sex couples in California to marry once again.

Gay-rights advocates see Wednesday's ruling as a significant victory, but there are still many unanswered questions.

The decision still leaves in place laws banning same-sex marriage around the country, including the Carolinas.

Crowds gathered in San Francisco and other parts of the country included both families and partners.

A crowd of supporters from around the Charlotte area met Wednesday evening to celebrate the decision.

A local family-law attorney said they will still have to travel another six hours by car to reach Washington.

That is the closest area where supporters will see the full benefit of the ruling.

SPECIAL SECTION: Same-sex marriage debate

"You won't see those benefits in North Carolina and probably won't see them anytime soon," said family-law attorney Nicole Sodoma.

Sodoma said the Supreme Court didn't take away the state's rights to block same-sex marriage.

In fact on the issue of Proposition 8, California's ban on same-sex marriage, justices only said the group fighting for the measure couldn't fight the lower court's decision.

Only 13 states and Washington D.C., allow same-sex marriage.

"What you may see is more people moving to states that allow same-sex marriage," Sodoma said.

She said the court's decision will make same-sex marriage a topic of conversation again in North Carolina.

"It is going to bring awareness back to this issue and shed light on it and possibly lead to more talks about Amendment One," she said.

Supporters who will show up in Charlotte hope for a review of Amendment One.

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