On Friday, the Supreme Court of the United States made a historic ruling in declaring same-sex marriage legal nationwide.
The ruling, which is a long sought after victory for the gay rights movement, is the most significant change in matrimony laws since the court struck down state bans on interracial marriage in 1967.
A total of 36 states and the District of Columbia now permit gay couples to get married, with today’s Supreme Court decision making it unlawful for the other 14 states to ban gay marriage. The landmark ruling also overturned a decision from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, which said states had legitimate reasons to maintain the traditional definition of marriage.
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote the majority opinion in the 5-4 decision, and was joined by the court’s other four liberal justices including Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Justice Elana Kagan, Justice Ruth Ginsburg and Justice Stephen Breyer.
In 2012, President Obama became the first sitting president to come out in favor of equal marriage, with his administration giving a strong push for the court to legalize the union of same-sex couples nationwide.