updated 06/26/2013 AT 2:00 PM ET
•originally published 06/26/2013 AT 2:45 PM ET
Together the women stood on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday, their hands joined and raised in victory to celebrate the striking down of the Defense of Marriage Act.
Within minutes, another court decision was announced – one that turned away the defenders of Proposition 8 and clears the way for same-sex marriage in their home state of California. And that is something in which Kris Perry and Sandy Stier have a very personal stake.
The couple of a dozen years, who both work in public service, do not claim to be activists, and yet the case of Hollingsworth v. Perry – yes, named for this very Kris Perry, who legally challenged the position of California Sen. Charles Hollingsworth in his war to keep same-marriage out of his state – is what put the issue before the Supreme Court.
The couple’s one opinion throughout the entire same-sex marriage debate has been clear: “We simply want for each other and our children the same rights as other American families.”
Now that this is a qualified reality, the two were smiling and giving an interview to MSNBC Wednesday morning when suddenly they were interrupted – by a call from Air Force One. On the phone, President Obama, on his way to Senegal but taking time to offer his congratulations to the women for a job well done.
“We’re proud of you guys, and we’re so proud to have this in California,” he said through a choppy connection. “And it’s because of your leadership things are heading the right way. So you should be very proud today. I hope you have a great celebration.”