On Friday, the day that millions of people across America had been hoping for finally arrived. In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry. The effects are sweeping — same-sex marriage is now legal in all 50 states, as well as U.S. territories. And in the event you're looking for a way to celebrate, you should check this out: sightings of rainbow clouds, making a powerful statement on marriage equality day.
It's been all over social media since Friday afternoon — images of extremely well-timed, beautiful rainbow-tinted clouds, seen in the skies over Los Angeles. The phenomenon is known as cloud iridescence, a product of the sun's light being diffracted through tiny water droplets in the Earth's atmosphere, according to National Geographic.
But, even with a scientific explanation, it's easy to view these images through a romantic lens. Sometime after 12 p.m. local time on Friday, people starting tweeting out the striking colors in the skies above Los Angeles, with almost everyone noting the incredibly apropos timing. It's not as though rainbow clouds are entirely new, but you only get one chance to see a rainbow cloud on the same day that same-sex marriage goes national.
The state of progress over the last several years for same-sex marriage activists had looked impressive already, even before Friday's decisive victory. In 2010, a mere six states had legal same-sex marriage; by 2014, it was legal in 35 states. But now, after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in Obergfell v. Hodges, all of those year-by-year marriage equality progress maps will be covered in just one color — it's everywhere, making the U.S. the 21st country to fully legalize same-sex marriage, according to CNN.
There have been some other sightings of rainbow clouds (also colloquially known as "fire rainbows") over the last couple weeks. Denizens of the Pacific Northwest got a chance to see one in the skies over Puget Sound on June 16. On June 19, the people of Saint John in Canada got the same treat. Canada hasn't needed to celebrate this sort of thing for quite a while, however; they were way out front of the United States on the marriage equality front, having legalized it nationally in 2005.