U.S. President Barack Obama hails the Supreme Court's ruling on gay marriage as a "big step in our march toward equality."

Reuters

U.S. President Barack Obama and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton took to twitter on Friday (June 26) to call the Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage “historic” and a “big step” for the U.S.

The White House’s official twitter icon received a facelift, turning from white to rainbow colored — to mark gay pride.

The Supreme Court ruled on Friday that the U.S. Constitution provides same-sex couples the right to marry, handing a historic triumph to the American gay rights movement.

The court ruled 5-4 that the Constitution’s guarantees of due process and equal protection under the law mean that states cannot ban same-sex marriages. With the ruling, gay marriage will become legal in all 50 states.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing on behalf of the court, said that the hope of gay people intending to marry “is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”

Kennedy, a conservative who often casts the deciding vote in close cases, was joined in the majority by the court’s four liberal justices.

In a dissenting opinion, conservative Justice Antonin Scalia said the decision shows the court is a “threat to American democracy.” The ruling “says that my ruler and the ruler of 320 million Americans coast-to-coast is a majority of the nine lawyers on the Supreme Court,” Scalia said.

Conservative Chief Justice John Roberts also read a summary of his dissenting opinion from the bench.

There are currently 13 state bans in place, while another state, Alabama, has contested a court ruling that lifted the ban there.

The ruling is the Supreme Court’s most important expansion of marriage rights in the United States since its landmark 1967 ruling in the case Loving v. Virginia that struck down state laws barring interracial marriages.

The ruling is the latest milestone in the gay rights movement in recent years. In 2010, Obama signed a law allowing gays to serve openly in the U.S. military. In 2013, the high court ruled unconstitutional a 1996 U.S. law that declared for the purposes of federal benefits marriage was defined as between one man and one woman.

Hillary Clinton, the front-runner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, wrote on Twitter she was “proud to celebrate a historic victory for marriage equality.” Until 2013, she had long said she was opposed to same-sex marriages, but said her view had since “evolved.”

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