Alabama State House Speaker Mike Hubbard calls federal ruling on his state's ban on same-sex marriage 'outrageous;' says state Legislature 'will encourage a vigorous appeals process' and 'continue defending the Christian conservative values that make Alabama a special place to live' - statement via @chrisgeidner
President Obama outlines major events over past 6 years; says 'I've seen something like gay marriage go from a wedge issue used to drive us apart to a story of freedom across our country, a civil right now legal in states that 7 in 10 Americans call home'
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring on Supreme Court decision to review gay marriage case: 'Given the near unanimous string of rulings recognizing the constitutional right to marry, and the Supreme Court's decision to let all those rulings stand, including in Virginia, I am optimistic that marriage equality will soon be the law of the land' - statement
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette says he's 'pleased' Supreme Court is taking on gay marriage case; 'All of Michigan's voters, as well as the citizens of our nation, will be well served by the court's decision to decide this case and resolve such an important issue' - statement
Editor's note: The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a same-sex marriage case in April and a decision is expected by late June, The Associated Press reports. The justices are reviewing an appellate ruling that upheld bans in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee, which are among the 14 states where same-sex couples are not allowed to marry. - Stephanie
Editor's note: U.S. Supreme Court justices are meeting in a closed-door conference today and may decide whether to hear a same-sex marriage case, or multiple cases. The appeals come from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. In October, the court decided not to take on appeals from both sides on the debate and also refused to block orders in favor of same-sex couples, AP reports. We'll update if anything is announced. - Stephanie
Jeb Bush on Florida same-sex marriage: 'We live in a democracy, and regardless of our disagreements, we have to respect the rule of law. I hope that we can also show respect for the good people on all sides of the gay and lesbian marriage' - @NBCNews
Same-sex couple Douglas Robinson, right, and Michael Elsasser exchange wedding rings during their July 2011 wedding ceremony at the City Clerk's Office in New York. (Shannon Stapleton / AP)
Same-sex marriage became a reality in the United States in 2004 in the wake of a ruling by the Massachusetts Supreme Court. Prior to 2012, same-sex marriage was also legalized in New York, Connecticut, Iowa, New Hampshire, Vermont and Washington, D.C.
Early in 2012, Washington State and Maryland both approved same-sex marriage laws, but neither took effect immediately and both were expected to be challenged in referendums.
In May 2012, President Obama declared that he supports same-sex marriage. And on June 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated a provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which has prevented married gay couples from receiving a range of tax, health and retirement benefits that are generally available to married people. - The New York Times, msnbc.com