President Obama welcomed Friday morning’s Supreme Court decision clearing the way for marriage equality across the nation, hailing it as a crowning moment in a long, sometimes bitter struggle for LGBT civil rights in America. “It’s a victory for the allies and friends and supporters who spent years and even decades working and praying for change to come,” he said. “I know a change for many of our LGBT brothers and sisters must have seemed so slow for so long,” he continued, but added that the decision is evidence that “real change is possible…shifts in hearts and minds is possible.”
“Sometimes there are days like this, when that slow, steady effort is rewarded with justice that arrives like a thunderbolt,” he said.
While recognizing the impact of today’s decision from the court, Obama said this struggle for justice has also involved “countless small acts of courage” from the LGBT community—including the simple, and scary act of coming out to “parents who loved their children no matter what.” The decision owes credit to “folks who were willing to endure bullying and taunts, and stayed strong, and came to believe in themselves and who they were,” he said.
Watch highlights from his address from the White House above.
Read our full coverage of the decision here. You can also read some of the most outlandish statements in Justice Antonin Scalia’s dissent here.