Standing on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday, the scene was exactly what Paul Katami and his partner, Jeff Zarrillo, had hoped for when they started their journey more than three years ago.
The highest court in the land had just delivered a one-two punch in support of gay rights, striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act while turning away the defenders of Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot measure that prevented the Burbank couple from marrying in 2009.
Together with a lesbian couple from Berkeley — Kristin Perry and Sandra Stier — they had formed the set of plaintiffs who would bring the issue of same-sex marriage to the Supreme Court and prevail.
"Today is a great day to be American," Zarrillo said to a throng of reporters outside the court.
Hours later, the couple would be on a flight back to Los Angeles. A celebration was being planned in West Hollywood. There were victory celebrations galore starring "Katami Zarrillo Perry Stier and Co."