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Supreme Court: Same-Sex Couples Have Right To Marry Anywhere In U.S.06:37

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Same-sex marriage supporters rejoice after the U.S Supreme Court hands down a ruling regarding same-sex marriage June 26, 2015 outside the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. The high court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry in all 50 states. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)closemore
Same-sex marriage supporters rejoice after the U.S Supreme Court hands down a ruling regarding same-sex marriage June 26, 2015 outside the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. The high court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry in all 50 states. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The Supreme Court has declared that same-sex couples have a right to marry anywhere in the United States.

Gay and lesbian couples already can marry in 36 states and the District of Columbia. The court's ruling on Friday means the remaining 14 states, in the South and Midwest, will have to stop enforcing their bans on same-sex marriage.

The outcome is the culmination of two decades of Supreme Court litigation over marriage, and gay rights generally.

Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion, just as he did in the court's previous three major gay rights cases dating back to 1996. Today's ruling comes on the anniversary of two of those earlier decisions.

Chief Justice John Roberts dissented, saying the court "is not a legislature." Also dissenting were Justices Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas.

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