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. Immediately after the decision, same-sex couples in many of states where gay marriage had been banned headed to county clerks' offices for marriage licenses as state officials issued statements saying they would respect the ruling. President Barack Obama, appearing in the White House Rose Garden, hailed the ruling as a milestone in American justice that arrived "like a thunderbolt.