Supreme Court Rules Same-Sex Marriage Legal Nationwide

CBS NEWS-- The Supreme Court weighed in on the issue of same-sex marriage Friday. The court sided along it's typical conservative-liberal lines with justice Anthony Kennedy as the swing vote.

Crowds outside the supreme court erupted in cheers as soon as they learned the court ruled same-sex marriage is now the law of the land.

"This is a wonderful day for equality," Rev. Jill McCrory said. "It's a great victory and it's a victory for love."

In the five-to-four decision, the court says the 14th Amendment requires all 50 states to issue a marriage license between two people of the same-sex.

Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion saying, "Marriage is a fundamental right in which homosexual couples must share, and it would also be a violation of equal protection to extend that right only to heterosexual couples."

President Obama praised the decision of the court.

"This ruling will strengthen all of our communities by offering to all loving same-sex couples the dignity of marriage across this great land," he said.

The conservative justices on the court each wrote their own dissent but all agreed states should be allowed to create their own laws.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote, "The people of a state are free to expand marriage to include same-sex couples, or to retain the historic definition."

"What this decision represents is over 50 million Americans that their voice and vote does not matter," Kerri Kupec, with the Alliance Defending Freedom, said.

The ruling is the most expansive expansion of marriage since the court struck down bans on inter-racial marriages in 1967.

The most recent CBS News poll on same-sex marriage found 57 percent of Americans support legalizing same-sex marriage.

Thirty percent of those who now support it say they once held the opposite view.