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Gay marriage ruling 'victory for America', says Obama

27 June 2015, 10:38

Washington - US President Barack Obama hailed the Supreme Court ruling in favor of gay marriage Friday, saying it shows social changes once thought impossible can become reality.

"Today we can say in no uncertain terms that we've made our union a little more perfect," Obama said in a White House address shortly after the court issued its decision.

"It's a victory for the allies and friends and supporters who spent years, even decades working and praying for change to come. And this ruling is a victory for America."

The Supreme Court ruling that the constitution protects the right of all Americans in all states to form same-sex marriages was a victory for gay rights campaigners.

But it will also be seen as a success for Obama, whose own position shifted between his first presidential campaign and his second, and who now supports marriage equality.

"This ruling is a victory for Jim Obergefell and the other plaintiffs in this case," Obama said, referring to one of the people who brought the case all the way to the high court.

"It's a victory for gay and lesbian couples who fought so long for their basic civil rights. It's a victory for their children whose families will now be recognized as equal to any other," he said.

"This decision affirms what millions of Americans already believe in their hearts, when all Americans are treated as equal, we are all more free."

But he also asked Americans to be "mindful" of those who do not approve of gay marriage.

"I know that Americans of goodwill continue to hold a wide range of views on this issue. Opposition in some cases has been based on sincere and deeply held beliefs. All of us who welcome today's news should be mindful of that fact," he said.

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