The Supreme Court of the United States of America has ruled that same-sex partners have a right to marry anywhere in the nation. The verdict strikes down remaining prohibitions on same-sex marriages and mandates recognition of such unions performed in other jurisdictions.
The 5-4 split between justices reflected an anticipated ideological divide.
“The court now holds that same-sex couples may exercise the fundamental right to marry. No longer may this liberty be denied to them,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority opinion, joined by liberal justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.
Justices John Roberts Jr., Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas each dissented, producing separate opinions.
Same-sex couples are currently able to wed in 36 states and the District of Columbia. The remaining 14 states must now stop enforcing their bans. According to recent polls, more than sixty percent of Americans approve of same-sex marriage, up sharply from even just a few years ago.
Immediately after the ruling, President Barack Obama wrote on twitter that "today is a big step in our march toward equality."
News is just breaking now, and it must be stressed that reportage from the Supreme Court steps tends to be premature. But @SCOTUSblog's tweets from the court, corroborated by other reports, strongly suggest the court is ruling in favor not only of same-sex marriage, but recognition of same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions.
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