President Obama, who opposed same-sex marriage until three years ago, hailed the Supreme Court’s ruling to legalize gay marriage Friday as “a victory for America.”

“When all Americans are treated as equal, we are all more free,” Mr. Obama said in the White House Rose Garden. “This ruling will strengthen all our communities. America should be very proud.”

He called the decision “a victory for gay and lesbian couples who have fought so long for their basic civil rights.”

Mr. Obama said during his 2008 presidential campaign that he did not support marriage for same-sex couples. Presidential adviser David Axelrod wrote in a book this year that Mr. Obama took that position only because it was politically expedient at the time.

The president publicly opposed same-sex marriage until 2012.

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