Tracy Boyd and her partner already considered themselves married, but on Friday they became officially engaged.
They were two of many people throughout Columbus celebrating the Supreme Court's decision to legalize marriage in all 50 states.
Just hours after the ruling, Mayor Teresa Tomlinson issued a statement announcing that "marriage licenses for same-sex marriage will be immediately available in the same manner and same method as those offered to all citizens." By 4 p.m., Columbus had its first legally married couple, the ceremony performed by Probate Judge Marc E. D'Antonio.
Boyd, 49, said she and her partner updated their Facebook status to "engaged" shortly after the court ruling. Though they had a commitment ceremony 24 years ago, they're now planning to have a small, private wedding at the courthouse to make it official in the near future. Then in April, they'll have a full-blown wedding for their 25th anniversary.
"I'm proud that my country is moving forward in this way, and I'm just overwhelmed for all the families that I know this is going to impact in a very positive way," she said. "I think everyone was expecting the decision and we were certainly optimistic and hopeful. But it still was an awesome feeling to see it happen and know it's the law of the land."
Later in the afternoon, a small rally was held in front of the Citizen's Center, drawing about 25 people in the pouring rain.
Standing behind a podium draped with rainbow colors, speakers praised the court decision.
Among those in attendance was Judge D'Antonio, who said his role isn't to take a position on gay marriage, but to follow the law.
"Marriage is a sacrament that today has also been recognized as a civil right by the Supreme Court," he said in a brief statement. "I took an oath of office to uphold and follow the Constitution of the United States. The Supreme Court's interpretation of the Constitution is the law of the land. As a judge, my job is to continue to follow the law. Therefore, I will continue to perform weddings and, as always, I will not discriminate based on race, national origin, and, as of today, sexual orientation."
But while gay marriage advocates celebrated the decision, some in people Columbus considered it a sad day in America.
Paul Vorhees is the host of Ranger Joe's God & Country Show, which airs 2 to 6 p.m., Monday to Friday, on 1420 AM Radio. He said the Supreme Court has steered the nation away from its Christian roots.
"I don't have a problem with a same-sex union. I just don't like the word marriage used," he said. "I think you're reinterpreting the (word) marriage and you're reinterpreting the Bible. I don't think (the judges) have that authority. The robes they wear come from the Christian (tradition), that's where it started. And I think they need to take those robes off. They're not worthy of wearing them."
Vorhees said he believes the justices were intimidated by President Obama's recent criticism of the court for taking up King v. Burwell, the case that challenged the legality of ObamaCare subsidies given to people living in states without state-based exchanges. On Thursday, the court upheld the controversial law with a 6-3 ruling.
"I feel that this decision was tainted by the president scolding the court last week," Vorhees said. "He threw his influence in there, and I think out of fear some of those judges voted differently than they think. Because when the Constitution was written, homosexuality was illegal. So they had no intention of legalizing same-sex marriage when they wrote the Constitution. And these judges all know that."
But those who attended Friday's rally said the Supreme Court said gay marriage is their constitutional right. The Rev. Emily Bell, pastor of Forgiving Heart Church, said she didn't think it would be the law of the land so quickly. Six months ago, she thought it would be another five years, but she knew the day would come.
"To all the pastors and churches who think of today as a failure, I have this to say to them: I've been asked many times, 'If Jesus walked on the earth today, would he be standing up for social justice issues, would Jesus support marriage equality?' And I immediately answer, 'Yes.'
"Jesus hung out with all stripes of people, especially the marginalized, the poor, the disadvantaged," she said. "I think Jesus is about inclusion, fairness, justice and love."
Jeremy Scott Hobbs, executive director of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays Columbus Georgia, said he attended the burial of his 3-year-old nephew Friday morning before the ruling came down. The child had lost brain activity after drowning two years ago and eventually died.
"Today I rejoiced after we laid him to rest at 10 a.m. this morning because he is once again complete," he said. "And then after I left Park Hill Cemetery, I got a call from NBC and I realized once again that we as American citizens are complete. For once, 'We the people' means everyone, and not just some. We can finally stand together in our pursuit of happiness, marrying the person we love, regardless of race, religion, creed, sexual orientation or gender."
Patricia Lassiter is a local organizer for Georgia Marriage Equality and the LGBT Caucus of the Democratic Party. She didn't think Friday would be the big day.
"I was pretty sure it was going to be Monday, but this morning at 10 a.m. I started shaking, and all of a sudden I felt that it was going to happen today," she said. "And as much as I've worked and prepared for this, nothing really matches the feeling of it really happening.
"I felt like I was getting married," said Lassiter, who is a lesbian and single. "It felt like I was marrying the world and I've never really experienced anything like that in my life."
Lassiter said it's not the end for the LGBT struggle, and she will continue to push for more equality.
"We have to hit public accommodations and the (Religious Freedom Restoration) laws and all that," she said. "It doesn't end with marriage, because tomorrow we could be fired from our jobs in the state of Georgia for being lesbian and gay, and tomorrow we could be pushed out of our apartments because there's no protection.
"We could be married and we could be in wedded bliss," she said. "But we would be homeless and jobless."