Moments after the final vote was handed down and the marriage equality act was passed 33-29, we followed reports that revelers were gathering in front of the Stonewall Inn in the West Village. By 11:30 a dense crowd of around 600 had packed in front of Kettle of Fish and Stonewall, herded down Stonewall Place by police officers and barricades along the edge of Christopher Park. While the occasional cheer broke out amidst George Michael basslines, the mood seemed to be one of deep, mellow, contemplative satisfaction.

Video by reader Tiffany Peckosh

Photographer Terry Richardson, walking the crowd hand in hand with a lady friend, said it was "awesome," while a line of drag queens told everyone in their path to "watch out, we're legal!" British tourists staying with a friend in the West Village asked us if the law's passage meant that anyone in the United States could be married, to which we embarrassingly replied "no." Perhaps it was this sense of unfinished business—to the people outside the six states that afford equal rights to all their citizens— that made the celebration more low key. Or maybe people just weren't drunk enough, although the liquor store on Stonewall Pl. seemed to be doing brisk business.

As people took swigs from their brown bags and shamelessly made out in the crowd, the police presence was nonchalant. A tipster passed us the below video of the police yielding to the crowd and shouts of "Our streets!" and it would be hard to imagine the NYPD provoking any conflict on such a harmless, jubilant crowd.

In the midst of the happy scrum, we heard a tipsy woman tell her companions that "This is like, history happening right here you guys." Three days from the 42nd anniversary of the painful birth of the gay rights movement in the United States, everyone outside Stonewall was there to experience a piece of that history, only this would have a much happier ending. And fire-throwers.

John Del Signore contributed to this report.