While we bask in this win for Gay rights, we must recognize that the most important struggle yet lies ahead: the repeal of DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act! And this struggle is going to make the fight for repeal of DADT look like a cakewalk!
As I've long contended, same-sex marriage, recognized by the federal government, is crucial, in that virtually all other rights that accrue to citizenship in the U.S. will ride on its coattails; the necessary recognition that same-sex love is just as valid as is heterosexual love; same-sex partners who seek to make a lifetime commitment to each other will have their commitment fulfilled civilly and, eventually, sacramentally; the demand for religious institutions to follow the law will mandate that they perform same-sex marriages, if they perform or witness any heterosexual marriages.
President Obama has gone on record as not favoring same-sex marriage, and the likelihood of his successors favoring such marriages is not a cause for optimism.
And the artificial construct of "Civil Unions" is no substitute for the institution of "Marriage," even if all of the civil rights that accrue to "marriage" are enmeshed with this construct. "Civil Unions" connote that same-sex love is somehow inferior or different or deviant, and that connotation must not exist! We must fight for "Marriage" in its truest contemporary form for same-sex couples who wish to make a lifetime commitment to each other!
If there is strong, coordinated, and viable grassroots and organizational demand for same-sex marriage, the institution of same-sex marriage will also, one day, become recognized as an entitlement regarding "the pursuit of happiness" for Gay couples, just as heterosexual marriage is currently viewed.