SUPREME COURT EXTENDS GAY MARRIAGE NATIONWIDE

The Supreme Court declared Friday that same-sex couples have a right to marry anywhere in the United States, a historic culmination of two decades of litigation over gay marriage and gay rights generally. Gay and lesbian couples already could marry in 36 states and the District of Columbia. 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.Gay rights supporters cheered, danced and wept outside the court after the decision, which put an exclamation point on breathtaking changes in the nation’s social norms. 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. It came on the anniversary of two of those earlier decisions.

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