Historic US Supreme Court rulings on gay marriage
26 June 2013 Last updated at 22:57 BST
The US Supreme Court has overturned a law which denied federal recognition of same-sex marriages. The Defence of Marriage Act which was passed in 1996 meant that gay couples were not entitled to federal benefits and could not seek the same tax reliefs as heterosexual couples.
They also declined to rule on Proposition 8, California's prohibition of gay marriage, in effect allowing such unions to resume in the state. President Obama has welcomed the court's decisions.
The BBC's Washington correspondent Jonny Dymond reports.