It’s not a total victory, but today’s two Supreme Court decisions on gay marriage are definitely gains for those supporting the right.
In the California Proposition 8 case, the Court ruled 5-4 that those seeking to defend the proposition (which bans gay marriage) lacked the standing to do so. Since they don’t have standing either before the Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court, that means the district court decision allowing gay marriage was not reversed. It was a narrow and limited victory, but a victory nonetheless. The state of California would have had standing to defend the proposition voted for by its citizens, but it chose not to.
In the Defense of Marriage Act case, the Court acted more broadly and decisively in striking down the law, holding 5-4 that the federal government must recognize gay marriages from states where such marriages are legal. Besides being a victory for gay marriage, it is also a victory for states’ rights.