Balance Beam Scale

The celebrations began instantly.

A young, black lesbian couple received the first ever gay marriage license in Alabama on Monday.

Alabama is the 37th state in America where gay people can now marry, a history that extends back to 2004 when Massachusetts became the first state in the union to allow same sex marriages.

On Monday morning, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Alabama’s late-Sunday night attempt to stop a federal trial judge’s same-sex marriage legalization order 7-2. Only Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas dissented.

Immediately, same-sex marriage activists and newly wedded couples celebrated the ruling. Photos and stories have been posted online all morning.

This year is set to be a landmark one in the history of same-sex marriage in the United States. 

Beginning in April, the Supreme Court will hear arguments about whether same-sex couples can marry nationwide. The Alabama decision is widely seen as a signal on how many of the justices will vote in June, when those arguments conclude.

Illustration via Max Fleishman

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