The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 on Friday that the Constitution guarantees all Americans nationwide the right to marry, including same-sex couples — a landmark victory for equal rights. Same-sex couples already had the right to marry in 36 states and the court’s decision makes gay marriage legal in the 14 holdout states. The ruling, which marks the end of decades of litigation on the issue, was met with jubilation by gay marriage supporters who had gathered outside the Supreme Court building in Washington, DC. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion. He was joined by the liberal justices on the bench — Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Ruth Bader-Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer — and said in his opinion that “No union is more profound than marriage.” Kennedy went on to say that same-sex couples seeking marriage rights “seek not to denigrate marriage, but rather to live their lives, or honor their spouses’ memory, joined by its bond.” The historic decision caps a week of high-profile rulings from the Supreme Court.
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