President Barack Obama has applauded the U.S. Supreme Court ruling Friday that same-sex couples have the right to marry anywhere in the United States “a victory for America” .
In a five to four decision, the high court declared that the U.S. Constitution’s guarantees of due process and equal protection for all overrule any state’s attempt to outlaw same-sex marriages.
Previously only 36 of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia had allowed gay marriage.
Gay marriage supporters broke out in cheers as word of the decision spread over a crowd of hundreds who had gathered outside the court building.
This decision will end the uncertainty hundreds of thousands of same-sex couples face. It will strengthen all of our communities,” Obama said at the White House after the historic ruling.
“Progress often comes in small increments, sometimes two steps forward, one step back,” he continued. “Sometimes, there are days like this – when that slow, steady effort is rewarded with justice that arrives like a thunderbolt.”
“America should be very proud,” Obama said.
Obama telephoned the lead plaintiff in the case, Jim Obergefell, congratulating him on live television.
In 2013, Obergefell sued the state of Ohio over its refuals to list him as the surviving spouse on the death certificate John Arthur, the man Obergefell married in Maryland where same-sex marriage is legal.