US President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed a bill providing federal protection to same-sex marriage. He did so to the many guests who had gathered at the White House to celebrate the legislative milestone.
Joe Biden described the historic law as a victory for rights. Earlier, as vice president, he had already publicly spoken in favor of same-sex unions before they were legalized across the United States in a 2015 Supreme Court ruling.
“America is taking an important step toward equality, freedom and justice, not just for some, but for all,” he said during a signing ceremony Tuesday afternoon. “This law and the love it stands for strikes a blow at all forms of hate,” he said on the South Lawn of the White House.
It was a ceremony in which singers Sam Smith and Cyndi Lauper performed, and in which Vice President Kamala Harris recalled a same-sex wedding in San Francisco.
Among the attendees was the owner of Club Q, a gay nightclub in Colorado where five people were killed in a shooting last month, and two survived the attack. The suspect has been charged with a hate crime.
Joe Biden said on his Twitter: “Marriage is a simple proposition: Who do you love? And will you be faithful to the one you love? It doesn’t get more complicated than that. The Respectful Marriage Act recognizes that everyone should You have the right to answer those questions for yourself.”
Marriage is a simple proposition: Who do you love? And will you be faithful to the person you love?
It doesn’t get more complicated than that.
The Respect for Marriage Act recognizes that everyone should have the right to answer those questions for themselves.
– President Biden (@POTUS) December 13, 2022
march against the court
After the now significantly more conservative US Supreme Court struck down long-standing abortion rights in June, lawmakers on the left and right scrambled to block any move to curb same-sex marriage rights. came together
The final passage of the legislation by Congress last week was a rare display of bipartisanship in deeply divided Washington.
To celebrate, Biden met on the grounds of the White House with a group of Republican and Democratic lawmakers, as well as advocates and plaintiffs in marriage equality cases across the country.
Tammy Baldwin, the first openly gay US senator, said she was “overjoyed” to sign the legislation, which she helped draft in Congress.
“Today, we are making history and making a difference for millions of Americans,” he said in a statement, “we are telling the millions of same-sex and interracial couples we look up to and respect.”
There is also a pioneer, Karine Jean-Pierre, the first openly gay White House press secretary. In public statements, he said that “the law will give peace of mind to millions of LGBTQI+ and interracial couples by finally guaranteeing the rights and protections they and their children deserve.”
7 years from its legalization
Hundreds of thousands of same-sex couples have been married since the Supreme Court’s 2015 decision to legalize unions across the United States.
Public acceptance has grown in recent decades, and polls now show that a majority of Americans support same-sex marriage.
According to Associated Press data, only 27% of Americans supported gay marriage in 1996. In 2012 this figure was 50%. Whereas in 2022 it has already reached 71% support.
However, some conservatives and the religious right continue to oppose it.
What is law?
The new law, known as the Honoring Marriage Act, does not require states to legalize same-sex marriages, but does require them to recognize a marriage as long as it is valid in the state where it took place. went.
It repeals previous legislation that defined marriage as between one man and one woman, and by requiring states to recognize legal marriages without regard to “sex, race, ethnicity, or national origin”. Also protects interracial couples.
In the House of Representatives, 39 Republicans joined the united Democratic majority in support of the bill, while 169 Republicans voted against it. It was first passed in the Senate by an evenly divided vote of 61 to 36.
“a lot of work to do”
White House spokeswoman Jean-Pierre said Monday that Biden believes “there is much more to be done to protect LGBTQI+ people across the country.”
He recalled that the 80-year-old Democrat was one of the first US political leaders to publicly support same-sex unions at the highest levels of government.
In 2012, Biden caused a stir by explicitly declaring his support for same-sex unions, when Barack Obama’s White House was still searching for the best way to make the president’s position official in full re-election to a second term was.
“I got in trouble,” Biden quipped at the time. Three days later, Obama himself publicly endorsed same-sex marriage.
Following his own presidential election in 2020, Biden chose Pete Buttigieg to be his Secretary of Transportation, the first openly gay person to be confirmed by the Senate for a cabinet position.
And beyond the issue of marriage, the Biden administration has taken a hard line in support of LGBTQI+ rights, particularly towards the transgender community, whose push for more rights has become a political flash point in the country.
The administration introduced gender-neutral passports, which allow people who do not identify as male or female to choose gender “X” and transgender people who served in the military under Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump. Ban lifted.
This article is an adaptation of its original in English