The court ruled 5-4 that the Constitution’s guarantees of due process and equal protection under the law mean that states cannot ban same-sex marriages. With the landmark ruling, gay marriage becomes legal in all 50 states.
Immediately after the decision, same-sex couples in many of the states where gay marriage had been banned headed to county clerks’ offices for marriage licenses as officials in several states said they would respect the ruling.
President Barack Obama, appearing in the White House Rose Garden, hailed the ruling as a milestone in American justice that arrived “like a thunderbolt.”
The ruling is the Supreme Court’s most important expansion of marriage rights in the United States since its landmark 1967 ruling in the case Loving v. Virginia that struck down state laws barring interracial marriages