Often the loudest voices of support and dissent stand outside the Supreme Court.
But when the double ruling on same sex marriage came down Wednesday morning, there were loud voices sharing a coffee, viewing a monument and even kneeling to pray.
At St. Matthews, noon mass was filled with parishioners who'd quietly prayed for a different outcome.
"Marriage is supposed to be between a man and a woman," said Agatha Gilles.
At Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, Bishop Harry Jackson was also disappointed: "We have to go back to Plan A, strengthen the institution."
The court may have overturned the Defense of Marriage Act, but the faithful hold tight to its meaning.
Prop 8 put on the California ballot to define marriage as only between a man and woman was approved by voters. The court decided that vote was unconstitutional, but at the Iwo Jima Memorial, William Conklin says he understands California's initial vote.
"We lived in San Francisco for a while and the gay community there was offensive, I thought," he says.
But as the news trickled from First Street Northeast to P Street Northwest, there was still confusion about the status of same sex marriage.
Ed Ingbretson has been in a same-sex marriage for a decade and says the court's ruling is decades overdue.
"Federally now, that playing field is level," he says. "It's not about discrimination. It's about access to the law."
And when it comes to receiving equal benefits, Richard Harms and Stephen Salfeety of Rockville are happy with the rulings on both a personal and practical level.
"We don't have to pay a tax adviser to do our taxes twice. We can just do it once as a married couple," says Stephen, who has been married to Richard since 2011.
Same-sex couples will also now be eligible for military benefits, which will reportedly be extended ASAP.