The Supreme Court of the United States on Wednesday struck down a key part of the Defense of Marriage Act that denies federal benefits to married same-sex partners and also allowed for the resumption of same-sex marriage in California.
While gay marriage is legal in some U.S. states, the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, keeps same-sex couples from receiving tax, health and other benefits.
"By its great reach, DOMA touches many aspects of married and family life, from the mundane to the profound," the high court said in its opinion. "It prevents same-sex married couples from obtaining government healthcare benefits they would otherwise receive."
The court also upheld a lower court's decision that California's Proposition 8, which limited marriage to heterosexual couples, violated the western state's constitution.
However, the high court declined to make a broader ruling on same-sex marriage for other states.
Thirteen states, including California, and the Washington district allow same-sex couples to marry.