“Today we can say in no uncertain terms that our union is a little more perfect,” said President Barack Obama in the White House Rose Garden. “That’s a consequence of a decision from the Supreme Court, but more importantly it is a consequence of the countless small acts of courage of millions of people across decades who stood up, who came out, who talked to parents, parents who loved their children no matter what, folks who were willing to endure bullying and taunts.”
Obama acknowledged the “so quick” move of public opinion and legal barriers to same-sex marriage, when compared to other civil rights issues. The president himself had a change of heart, declaring his new support for same-sex marriage in 2012.
“I know that Americans of good will continue to hold a wide range of views on this issue,” Obama said. “Opposition in some cases is based on sincere and deeply held beliefs. All of us who welcome today’s news should be mindful of that fact, recognize different viewpoints, revere our deep commitment to religious freedom.”