In its 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court recognised that the Constitution guarantees marriage equality. "In doing so, they've reaffirmed that all Americans are entitled to equal protection of the law. That all people should be treated equally, regardless of who they are or who they love," President Barack Obama said.

"This decision will end the patchwork system we currently have. It will end the uncertainty hundreds of thousands of same-sex couples face from not knowing whether their marriage, legitimate in the eyes of one state, will remain if they decide to move to or even visit another," Obama told reporters at the White House.

Writing the order for the majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy said marriage is a 'keystone of the nation's social order' and that there is 'no difference between same- and opposite-sex couples with respect to this principle'. 

He criticised the fact that same-sex couples are denied the benefits that states have linked to marriage. Obama said the ruling is a victory for America.
"This decision affirms what millions of Americans already believe in their hearts: When all Americans are treated as equal we are all more free," he said adding that his administration has been guided by that idea.

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