The Goins enjoy the rally with their daughter in downtown Wilmington.
Cooper and Mazzone show their wedding rings at a rally in downtown Wilmington.
WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – Two decisions by the Supreme Court of the United States prompted celebrations, rallies and gatherings around the country, including Wilmington.
Dozens crowded around the 1898 Memorial in downtown Wilmington Wednesday night in support of the court's rulings against the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8. Among the crowd stood Amanda and Julie Goins with their baby by their side.
The two traveled to Washington D.C. to wed in 2010. The nation's capital, along with 12 states, recognize same-sex marriage. The Goins are one of many couples who are now recognized by the federal government as family.
With her daughter on her hip, Amanda said Wednesday's rulings are baby steps, but there's more work to be done in the state of North Carolina. The rulings do not affect the state's Amendment One, which makes same-sex marriages unconstitutional.
Regardless of any government's opinion on their marriage, the Goins said nothing matters more than their daughter growing up in a loving home.
"She knows that she's loved and her parents love her," said Amanda. "Hopefully by the time she's old enough to realize what's going on, it'll be legal."
On the other side of the park stood Derrick Cooper and Marc Mazzone, two military men who married each other in Annapolis just last month. They said the benefits and health insurance that comes along with these rulings will no long be a concern.
Both are covered individually, but Mazzone said there used to be a worry when either of them would be deployed overseas.
"It's nice to know Derrick will get benefits if anything ever happens to me," said Mazzone. "And vice-verse," added Cooper.
The two men agreed with everyone else at Wednesday's rally that it's only a matter of time before same-sex marriage is recognized in North Carolina.
"It'll be a road to take, but it's going to be a long one," said Mazzone. "We just have to make sure we're prepared for it."