"For the first time in almost 10 years of us being together, we're finally in control of our own destiny," Perlberg says.

They are planning a trip to New York in July and will test how it feels to be back in America together. Then, they will have to decide where they want to live out their lives.

"Making those decisions won't be easy," he says. "But we're grateful that for once, the decisions most meaningful to us get to be ours to make."

'Persons non-grata' no more

Like Perlberg, Melanie Servetas, 48, left home to be with her love.

She once worked as an executive for Wells Fargo, drove a Jaguar and lived in a three-bedroom house in sunny southern California. She gave it all up so that she could live with her wife, Claudia Amaral, 46. The two were married in Amaral's native Brazil.

It took them almost a year, but the two moved back to America in late May.

At the Dallas airport, they faced an immigration officer they'd encountered on a previous occasion, when they'd taken off their rings and walked through not as a family, but as individuals. They had always been afraid that because Amaral only had a temporary tourist visa, immigration authorities might suspect her as someone who might overstay her visa to be with her American partner.

But this time, they proudly wore their weddings rings and presented their passports as a married couple.

"Thank God for Ms. Windsor," Servetas says of Edie Windsor, the plaintiff in the DOMA case the Supreme Court heard.

"The ruling validated us as people, which is ridiculous because who needs to be validated by anybody?" Servetas says. "Until that day last year, we were second-class citizens. We were persons non-grata. Now we have the same rights as anyone else."

Servetas and Amaral have been staying with relatives in Arizona, but they plan to return to Rancho Cucamonga, California, and pick up the life Servetas so loved.

The Supreme Court also invalidated California's 2008 voter-approved constitutional ban on gay marriage, otherwise known as Proposition 8. So Servetas and Amaral will be recognized as legally married by the state as well.

Last week, the couple found out that the tenant in Servetas' house is leaving sooner than anticipated.

Servetas and Amaral got married last year on June 26, the day of the DOMA ruling. They hope to move back into their house on Thursday -- exactly a year later -- when they will be celebrating a double anniversary.

Married but single

The week after the DOMA ruling, Ryan Wilson and Shehan Welihindha left for their honeymoon. They chose California.

Wilson, 30, and Welihindha, 31, live in Columbia, South Carolina. But they were among the first seven couples to get married in Wilson's native Maryland after the state voted to allow same-sex marriage in late 2012.

On their honeymoon, they visited San Francisco and witnessed the first same-sex marriages taking place after Proposition 8 was no more. Then they went on to Napa Valley and Monterey. A hotel where they stayed had champagne waiting for them.

That's something most straight newlyweds expect, but for Wilson and Welihindha, it was a new gesture.