Supreme Court ruled on Friday that it is legal for all Americans, no matter their gender or sexual orientation, to marry the people they love. The decision is a historic victory for gay rights activists who have fought for years in the lower courts. Thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia already recognize marriage equality. The remaining 13 states ban these unions, even as public support has reached record levels nationwide. The justices found that, under the 14th Amendment, states must issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and recognize same-sex unions that have been legally performed in other states. In a rare move, the four dissenting justices each wrote an opinion.
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Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote that the plaintiffs asked "for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right. Same-sex couples in several affected states including Georgia, Michigan, Ohio and Texas rushed to wed on Friday. However officials in other states, including Mississippi and Louisiana, said marriages had to wait until procedural issues were addressed. Former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee called it "an out-of-control act of unconstitutional, judicial tyranny". And Kellie Fiedorek, a lawyer for an anti-gay marriage advocacy group, said the decision "ignored the voices of thousands of Americans".
Here are the 29 countries where same-sex marriage is officially legal
Same-sex sexual activity was criminalised only briefly in Japan's history between and , after which a localised version of the Napoleonic Penal Code was adopted with an equal age of consent. Japan is the only country within the G7 still not to legally recognise same-sex couples at all. Japan's culture and major religions do not have a history of hostility towards homosexuality. A law allowing transgender individuals to change their legal gender post- sex reassignment surgery and sterilization was passed in Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity is banned in certain cities, including Tokyo.
Constitution provides same-sex couples the right to marry, handing a historic triumph to the American gay rights movement. The court ruled that the Constitution's guarantees of due process and equal protection under the law mean that states cannot ban same-sex marriages. With the landmark ruling, gay marriage becomes legal in all 50 states.