Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.
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The rainbow banners raised high today outside the Supreme Court as a pair of historic rulings come down on same-sex marriage. The court struck down the defense of marriage act, which defined marriage as between a man and a woman at the federal level, and it also effectively struck down California's Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in that state.
The DOMA ruling will allow same-sex married couples to receive the same federal benefits as straight couples - on taxes, health care, retirement, and survivorship, among others.
The Prop 8 ruling opens the door for same-sex marriage to begin again in California. Both were 5-to-4 decisions, though the justices didn't all fall on the same sides in both. For the couples involved, today was a long time coming.
What's remarkable is not the celebrations, the couples lining up on the courthouse steps in San Francisco, the raucous celebrations in New York City, or the tears of joy on the steps of the Supreme Court.
Watch "The Lead" on CNN at 4 p.m. ET for our full interview with Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom.
There has been a sea change in just the last decade on Americans' feelings toward gay marriage. Shifting public opinion and decades-old fights over judicial power were at the nexus of perhaps the most important social issue the high court has addressed in recent years: same-sex marriage.
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court struck down a key part of the Defense of Marriage Act, a law that denies to legally married same-sex couples the same federal benefits provided to heterosexual spouses. The court also dismissed an appeal over same-sex marriage on jurisdictional grounds, ruling that private parties do not have "standing" to defend California's voter-approved ballot measure (known as Proposition 8) barring gay and lesbian couples from state-sanctioned wedlock.
California's Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom said he believes the topic of gay marriage is something that will not even be discussed by the time his young children are in their 40s.