On Wednesday, the Supreme Court struck down both Proposition 8, California's same-sex marriage ban, and the Defense of Marriage (DOMA), which prevented legally married gay couples from receiving the same federal benefits as straight couples. Both were huge victories for not only the gay community, but for the nation at large .
Still, there are many same-sex couples living in states where they are legally unable to marry or where their marriages are not legally recognized. In an act of solidarity, some straight couples have decided to put off their own weddings until all -- not just some -- gay couples are afforded the same rights. We asked our readers to tell us why they're waiting to marry until everyone can tie the knot. Scroll down to see what five women had to say.
"My older brother is my father figure. He is my hero. He is gay. I made a commitment not to marry until he has the right to do so, if he wants. My fiancé knows how much my brother and gay marriage means to me. He supports me in my advocacy. One day I hope to marry him." - April G.
"My fiancé and I will not get married until my cousin has the right to marry his partner of 10 years. We are from a Southern, close-minded state, so we may not see marriage equality in our lifetime. That's completely fine by us, though -- marriage should be a RIGHT to all, not a selective privilege." - Cassie W.
"Compliments on my engagement ring have the potential to lead into conversations about marriage equality rather than 'have you said yes to the dress?'...We must do the right thing and honor every citizen's opportunity to commit under the law. I don't see this as a religious issue, but a fundamental right of being a citizen of the United Sates; all equal under the eyes of the law. I am not on the floor, I do not have a mic but a peaceful protest of holding my most devout commitment until my brothers and sisters can honor their hearts too -- well that's something I can do to support the fight for marriage equality."- Megan Elise O.
"I'm in a heterosexual relationship, but don't want to ever get married. The fact that marriage isn't allowed for love makes me feel like love isn't why a couple gets married. Above everything, that's what marriage should be about and I won't be considering marriage at all ever until it becomes about love and not politics." - Kerri S.
"My boyfriend and I have always been strong supporters of the equal rights movement. However, this support became particularly personal when my older sister came out as gay this past year. We have heard it said before that marrying when it is only allowed to straight couples is a more modern version of joining a country club that doesn't allow African Americans. It doesn't make sense for us to take advantage of the joy and privilege that comes from marriage while people all across the country are denied that right. It would seem like an insensitive move on our part and wouldn't speak well of our beliefs. We will find greater happiness in marriage some day when we know people like my sister, our friends, and total strangers can marry who they love as well." - Mackenzie P.
Click through the slideshow below for 31 photos that show the power of love between same-sex couples.