Ellen DeGeneres was among the first to respond, when she posted to Twitter: “This just in: Equality won!”
Hollywood was busy tracking the federal court's decision overturning Proposition 8 on Wednesday with reaction starting to come in soon after Judge Vaughn Walker issued his ruling at about 1:30 p.m. PT.
Ellen DeGeneres was among the first at 1:51 p.m. when she posted to Twtitter: "This just in: Equality won!"
About an hour later, she posted further thoughts on her website: "Today, California's Proposition 8 was declared unconstitutional. When Prop 8 was passed two years ago, I said, 'One day we will look back and realize how wrong this is.' Now, we've made a huge step forward. In today's ruling, the court stated that Prop 8 'fails to advance any rational basis' for denying the right to marry, and the court is right. We're all equal, and we should all have equal rights. I'm so grateful for today's decision."
DeGeneres' wife Portia DiRossi tweeted, "I am ecstatic that proposition 8 has been overturned in the state of California. This is an incredibly exciting and historical day and a big step towards equal rights for all." The couple married in 2008 when gay marriage was briefly legal in California.
Adam Shankman, the openly gay director of satirical web smash "Prop 8: The Musical" (see below) tweeted a few minutes after DeGeneres: "And justice is served. We are equal once more. God bless the letter of the law."
While waiting for the ruling earlier in the day, Shankman tweeted, "Patiently awaiting the ruling on prop 8 constitutionality. Curious to find out if I'm going to b considered an equal citizen of the US today."
Perez Hilton enthusiastically tweeted: "It's official!!!! #Prop8 overturned!!!!!! Equality rules!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Christina Applegate was also emotional. "I am crying with absolute joy! Thank you thank you thank you for letting equality win," she tweeted. "All men are created equal! Period!!!”
Comedian Margaret Cho weighed in at 2:05 p.m.: "Down with prop 8!!!! Its prop hate!!!"
"Congratulations to all my friends who can now get married again," Wil Wheaton tweeted. "It's disgraceful that there's even a question about your rights."
Newly out pop star Ricky Martin weighed in with: "YEAHHHHH!!!!! #PROP8UNCONSTITUTIONAL MOVING FORWARD!!!!!!!! RT please"
This from Kim Kardashian: "Prop 8 was struck down! This news is amazing!!!! Its about time! Congrats to everyone!"
"What a huge historical day for equal rights in this country!" Paris Hilton shared. "They finally overturned Prop 8! There shouldn’t be a law on true love. : )”
"Go Judge Walker. I can't wait to go to some seriously awesome weddings," tweeted Elizabeth Banks.
Two celebrities with large followings in the gay community — Cyndi Lauper and Kathy Griffin — released statements supporting the court decision.
"Today's landmark ruling declaring Proposition 8 unconstitutional is a testament to the fundamentals on which this great country was built and validates that the discrimination gay couples face must come to an end," Lauper said. "This decision is a major step in the right direction towards equality."
"As we all know, the antigay movement is certain to appeal this landmark case," Griffin said. "So, while today's decision is a key victory in the fight for marriage equality, we still have a long way to go before my mother Maggie can break out her box of wine in celebration. I urge my friends and fans to stay strong, be vocal and take strength in the knowledge that we will be on the right side of history."
Griffin also tweeted: "Thrilled that #prop8 has been ruled unconstitutional! Certain to be appealed, so stay strong & vocal! #noh8"
In a statement posted on his website, Hollywood veteran and current California governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger said: “For the hundreds of thousands of Californians in gay and lesbian households who are managing their day-to-day lives, this decision affirms the full legal protections and safeguards I believe everyone deserves. At the same time, it provides an opportunity for all Californians to consider our history of leading the way to the future, and our growing reputation of treating all people and their relationships with equal respect and dignity.
“Today's decision is by no means California's first milestone, nor our last, on America's road to equality and freedom for all people.”
In his 136-page ruling, posted online, Walker cited due process and equal protection rights in determining his decision. "The evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite-sex couples are superior to same-sex couples," Walker wrote.
More reactions to come. Post your own in the comments.
Here's a look back at Hollywood's initial take on Prop 8: