When he first started building support for D.C. Clergy United in May 2009, Harmon says membership jumped in the span of just a few days. Moving forward, he adds, “we need to send a message that now marriage equality is here, it’s not a threat. It simply will enhance the lives of families and couples throughout the city.”

Spaulding hopes to send her own messages—specifically to ­African-Americans like Rep. Alma Adams, who chairs the North Carolina legislative black caucus. “When I see these photos [of black couples who are marrying], I think of [Alma Adams], who said to me, ‘Your issues are not my issues.’ Tell that to these black couples getting married,” Spaulding says.

Renna is careful to point out that antigay bias doesn’t discriminate by race. “The reality is homophobia exists in all communities—black folks are as influenced by their churches as white evangelicals are,” she says. “We have to fight it everywhere.”