Crowds huddled as they awaited momentous decision

jnewsham@sacbee.comJune 26, 2013 

The mood in San Francisco outside of City Hall and in midtown Sacramento was quietly hopeful before the Supreme Court's Prop. 8 decision was handed down this morning.

At 19th and L streets in Sacramento, inside the Lambda Center, people were huddled around to watch television coverage.

"I'm thinking it is a momentous decision and I'm excited for all my gay and lesbian friends who will be able to get married," said Andrea Kennedy at the Lambda Center.

Meanwhile, gay and lesbian residents of San Francisco were smiling on the front steps of their city hall, hoping that the high court's decision would go their way. A live viewing of coverage of the ruling was planned.

Mayor Ed Lee and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsome were expected to be in attendance.

Leaders in the fight against Prop. 8, Stuart Gaffney and John Lewis, were in attendance. Stewart said he and his longtime partner were anxiously awaiting the ruling.

Gaffney called it a historic moment.

"We have been on pins and needles," said Gaffney. "Many of us barely slept last night."

Gaffney and Lewis were initially married in 2004, their union being among the marriages that were nullified. They were married again in June 2008 and just celebrated their 5 year wedding anniversary.

However, they have been together as a couple for 26 years.

"Hopefully, the court rules with their heart - as a matter of law as well as a matter of love," said Gaffney.

No matter the outcome today, there is much work to be done on ensuring gay rights, he said.

"Equality will remain an unfinished business in this country," he said. "There is more work to do."

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