BEND, Ore. - Bend residents Lindsey Lombard and Gretchen Boutin have been waiting to get married for more than 30 years.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act and declined to rule on Proposition 8, allowing same sex-marriage to resume in California.
"It's always been kind of this dream, or this hope or goal, that you're always moving toward," Lombard said of same-sex marriage.
What Lombard and Boutin call a victory, others on the High Desert call a slap in the face for the very definition of marriage.
"Marriage is an institution that predates both the state and the church," explained Bishop Liam Cary of the Diocese of Baker, the Roman Catholic church's leadership division in Central and Eastern Oregon. "It's a natural institution, because that's the way the human race continues, is through the union of a man and a woman."
The court's ruling will not have an immediate affect on Oregon, even though Lombard and Boutin have a recognized domestic partnership here.
"We file two separate federal tax returns as singles," Lombard said.
Due to the overturning of the Defense of Marriage Act, now same-sex couples who are legally married in one state can receive federal benefits, no matter what state they live in.
But the ruling only applies to marriages -- civil unions and domestic partnerships are left out.
"The race isn't finished. For Oregonians, we haven't crossed the finish line," Boutin said.
And for her, a separate but equal type of union isn't really equal.
"The whole story isn't about benefits," Boutin said. "Marriage is about love and family and making a commitment."
Cary said marriage is also about history -- and what's right in the eyes of God.
"That Defense of Marriage Act is an interesting statistic, it's what, 15 years old?" Cary said. "When there's 2,000 years of widely (held views disapproving same-sex couples) way beyond the Catholic Church, way beyond the Christian church, that would have never endorsed such as thing."
But more and more Americans are endorsing gay marriage.
And for Boutin and Lombard, wedding bells might be right around the corner.
The pair could get married in another state, like Washington state or California. But to them it's important to get married in their home state, so they said they are waiting until Oregonians legalize same-sex marriage.
Backers of such a move are campaigning to get the issue back on the ballot in November 2014.