The court's 5-4 ruling 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.Photos: Gay marriage ruling in Arizona in October Vivian Mitchell, 26, left, and Rochell Mc Carty, 33, both Phoenix, celebrate after getting married outside the Clerk of The Superior Court office in Phoenix.Gay marriage was legalized in Arizona Friday, October 17, 2014.The first couples to receive marriage licenses minutes after gay marriage was legalized in Arizona come out of the Clerk of the Superior Court all smiles in Phoenix, Friday, October 17, 2014.From left to right are; David Larance, 36, Kevin Patterson, 31.
David Larance, one of the first couples, rejoices with his adopted children after receiving marriage licenses minutes after gay marriage was legalized in Arizona come out of the Clerk of the Superior Court all smiles in Phoenix, Friday, October 17, 2014.
Whether same-sex marriage is a good idea should be of no concern to us," Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in dissent.
Roberts read a summary of his dissent from the bench, the first time he has done so in nearly 10 years as chief justice.
President Barack Obama welcomed the decision via Twitter, calling it "a big step in our march toward equality."The ruling will not take effect immediately because the court gives the losing side roughly three weeks to ask for reconsideration.
But some state officials and county clerks might decide there is little risk in issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.