( Washington, DC / CBS News ) – In a historic development for gay rights and the institution of marriage, the Supreme Court has ruled that same-sex couples have the constitutional right to marry.
Specifically, the 5-4 ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges declares that the 14th Amendment requires all states to perform same-sex marriages and recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.
The ruling extends marriage rights to gay couples in the 14 remaining states where same-sex marriage was previously prohibited. It also validates lower-court rulings in 20 states where marriage bans were struck down by federal judges.
The recent series of court rulings striking down marriage bans, culminating with this Supreme Court ruling, reflects a growing national acceptance of same-sex marriage. A February CBS News poll showed that 60 percent of Americans said it should be legal for same-sex couples to marry. More than half, 56 percent, said same-sex marriage should be left up to the states, though support for that position dropped eight points from a year earlier.
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