The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 on June 26, 2015 that it is legal for all Americans, no matter their gender or sexual orientation, to marry the people they love.
"This is a beautiful day for millions of loving, committed couples across the country. In dozens of states there are couples that share homes, raise children and remain committed to each other through good times and bad, but have been denied the basic right of getting married to each other. Today that changed and same sex couples in every state will have the same rights they enjoy in Maine and the other states that have legalized same-sex marriage," said Congresswoman Chellie Pingree.
The decision is a historic victory for gay rights activists who have fought for years in the lower courts. Thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia already recognize marriage equality. The remaining 13 states ban these unions, even as public support has reached record levels across the country.
The justices found that under the 14th Amendment, states must issues marriage licenses to same-sex couples and recognize same-sex unions that were legally performed in other states.