Here’s how America reacted to Friday’s marriage equality ruling

Posted at 11:20 AM, Jun 26, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-26 15:19:42-04
(CNN) — Friday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision requiring states to allow same-sex marriage unleashed an outpouring of reaction across the nation, both in favor of and against the landmark ruling.

Outside the Supreme Court in Washington, hundreds gathered outside, waving U.S. and rainbow-colored flags, chanting, “U.S.A.! U.S.A.!” and celebrating the decision with selfies at a historic, if divisive, moment in the nation’s history.

“We can do it now!” one man said, hugging another man and kissing him on the cheek. “It’s great, man.”

Here’s a sampling of reaction gathered by CNN journalists around the country, as well as from social media.

“Everybody should be able to love who they want”

Jarrod Lewis was out with a group of young men in Atlanta Friday afternoon. Although the young men weren’t gay, they said they were happy about the ruling.

“I think everybody should be able to love who they want,” Lewis, told CNN.

“I’m glad they chose love over hate”

In New York, Lana McDonald was out and about with her 11-year-old daughter Rileigh when she learned of the decision.

“There is so much hate in the world right now,” McDonald said, tears in her eyes. “I’m glad they chose love over hate this time.”

At Manhattan’s historic Stonewall Inn, where police raids touched off rioting in 1969 that led to an awakening in the gay rights movement, Same-sex marriage supporters danced to blaring music, giving the place the vibe of a wedding reception. Outside, dozens gathered to snap photos.

Anne Attalla found herself at the Stonewall, overcome with emotion.

“I walked in and held back tears. Gay Pride started with a riot. This is the last stand of equality.”

“They don’t have to take the abuse”

In West Hollywood, California, 91-year-ld Cy Harris was out walking his Pomeranian, Valentino. he’s not gay, but his son and daughter are. The decision will mean a lot to them, he said.

“They don’t have to take the abuse like they did at one time,” Harris said.” It’s wonderful.”

Ryann Nieves, wearing a U.S. women’s soccer team jersey ahead of the team’s match with China in the World Cup, got choked up just talking about it.

“Putting the U.S. colors on has so much meaning today,” she said. “It’s a great day to be an American and to have equality … To wake up and see all these text messages on my phone and to be told that you are recognized wherever you go in the United States, that’s incredible. It really is.”

“I love her”

“I would have dressed better if I had more time but couldn’t wait,” said one Atlanta-area woman who had rushed to the Fulton County courthouse to get married.

“It’s a great day for America”

Richard Neely and Chris Paul of Atlanta, have been partners for 23 years. For them, the ruling had practical meaning, too.

“It means that I’m confident that when I retire I’ll be able to provide full benefits for Christopher if he happens to survive me,” Neely said.

Four decades in the making

Others just seemed stunned the fight was over, 42 years after Maryland became the first state to pass a statute banning same-sex marriage, according to Freedom to Marry, which backs marriage equality.

Frank Stewart of Phoenix, Arizona, told CNN’s Glen Dacy in Chicago that people should not worry so much about other people’s lives.

“Hard times are coming”

Not everyone was pleased, of course.

On Facebook, Adam Donaldson wrote that “hard times are coming” because of the decision.

“Gay marriage is legal now. What a joke,” another Twitter user wrote. “This country has turned away from God.”