WASHINGTON (AP) -- It took just a few words for the Supreme Court to deal with the question of whether gay marriage is legal.
For Republicans thinking about running for the White House in 2016, it won't be that easy.
The Supreme Court on Monday denied appeals from five states that sought to prohibit same-sex marriage, effectively clearing the way for gays and lesbians to marry in 30 states.
The decision reignites a Republican debate over the divisive social issue of whether marriage should be defined as between a man and a woman.
The dispute exposes existing tensions between pragmatic Republican officials and religious conservatives.
After the court's decision, high-profile conservatives lashed out against what they called judicial activism, while others sidestepped the issue.