Barack Obama On Same-Sex Marriage Ruling: Justice Arrives 'Like A Thunderbolt'

A victory for America.

This morning, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to legalize gay marriage in all 50 states. In a landmark decision, the justices voted 5-4, officially labeling state prohibitions on same-sex marriage as a violation of the Constitution. The ruling was not altogether unexpected, but is nonetheless a major turning point for equality — gay marriage is now legal across America.

Shortly after the news broke, President Obama made a statement streamed live from the official White House site. Calling the ruling "a victory for friends, families and organizers who fought tirelessly for years for marriage equality," he was adamant how groundbreaking the decision was, calling it an affirmation that "people should be treated equally, regardless of who they are or who they love."

Said Justice Anthony Kennedy in his closing, "It would misunderstand [same-sex couples] to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves." Obama's words followed this line of thinking and the president paused to let the weight of the situation sink in, as he has in countless speeches before this one. Yet it was clear he was fully aware just how historic this moment would be for his presidency and for America.

Read more snippets of his speech through the @BarackObama Twitter account: