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What Supreme Court's Historic Ruling Means for Same-Sex Couples

It's no longer gay marriage. It's just marriage.

In a historic 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court on Friday extended marriage rights to all Americans, ruling that state bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional and that states don't have the right to refuse to acknowledge same-sex marriages from other states. As expected, Justice Anthony Kennedy was the swing voter among nine justices who traditionally sit firmly to the left or right of the political spectrum. "The constitution promises liberty to all within its reach, a liberty that includes certain specific rights that allow persons, within a lawful realm, to define and express their identity," he wrote in his opinion for the majority ruling.

This is the last frontier for marriage equality activists and seen by many as the biggest civil-rights movement of this time, extending marriage equality from 37 states to all 50.

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"The court made a historic decision today by recognizing same-sex marriage and providing millions of people with the equality they deserve and are guaranteed under our Constitution," says Brett Ward, a partner in law firm Blank Rome's matrimonial practice group in New York. "People can now marry the person they love, not only the person the government tells them they can love." Same-sex couples who can marry in one state no longer have to worry about losing their rights if they move, he adds, which will be a great relief for families where one partner is in the military or any another occupation that requires a spouse to relocate.

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“What Supreme Court's Historic Ruling Means for Same-Sex Couples,” by Quentin Fottrell appeared in the June 26, 2015, edition of Market Watch.