Biden signs bill protecting same-sex marriage into law

Biden Signs Bill Protecting Same-sex Marriage Into Law

Washington – President Joe Biden signed the law protecting same-sex marriage on Tuesday before a bipartisan crowd of 3,000 in attendance reflecting the growing acceptance of same-sex unions.

The president stated that “the law and the love it stands for strike a blow against hate in all its forms.”

“Deciding who to marry is one of the most personal decisions a person can make,” said the president, who argued that marriage should come down to just two questions: “Who do you love?” and “Will you be faithful to the person you love?” These two questions were also asked on NBC’s “Meet the Press” a decade ago.


“This law recognizes that everyone should have the right to answer those questions for themselves, without government interference,” he added.

The ceremony was attended by lawmakers from both parties, as well as First Lady Jill Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff. Harris had a speech prior to the president.

Singer Cyndi Lauper, a longtime advocate for the rights of the LGBT community, also participated in the ceremony. “For once, our families, mine and that of many of my friends – and the people you know, sometimes their neighbors – we can be calm tonight, because our families are validated,” he said in the meeting room of the White House before the start of the activity.

Singer Cyndi Lauper. (Patrick Semansky)

Singer Sam Smith performed his hit “Stay with Me” prior to Biden’s message.

“A day America takes a vital step towards equality.”

President Joe Biden delivers remarks in a White House ceremony ahead of signing into law gay marriage legislation that reflects growing acceptance of same-sex unions.

— The Associated Press (@AP) December 13, 2022

For his part, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, said he would wear the same purple tie he wore at his daughter’s wedding to the ceremony. His daughter and his wife are expecting their first child in the spring.

“Thanks to the hard work of many of my colleagues, my grandson will live in a world that will respect and honor his mother’s marriage,” Schumer said.

The triumphalist atmosphere played out against the backdrop of a right-wing backlash on gender issues, which has alarmed the LGBTT community and its supporters.

Among those in attendance was the owner of Club Q, a gay nightclub in Colorado where five people were killed in a shooting last month and two survivors of the attack. The suspect has been charged with hate crimes.

Also appearing were the petition plaintiffs who originally helped secure the national right to gay marriage, according to the White House.

The new law is intended to safeguard gay marriages if the US Supreme Court ever overturns Obergefell v. Hodges, his 2015 decision that legalized same-sex unions across the country. The new law also protects interracial marriages. In 1967, the Supreme Court in Loving v. Virginia struck down laws in 16 states that prohibited interracial marriage.

“Congress has restored some measure of security for millions of marriages and families,” Biden said in a statement when the legislation passed last week. “They have also provided hope and dignity to millions of young people across the country who can grow up knowing that their government will recognize and respect the families they build.”

The signing marked the culmination of a month-long bipartisan effort sparked by the Supreme Court’s decision in June to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that made abortion available nationwide.

In a concurring opinion in the case that struck out Roe, Justice Clarence Thomas suggested reviewing other decisions, including legalizing same-sex marriage, raising fears the court’s conservative majority could jeopardize more civil rights.

The lawmakers crafted a compromise that aims to allay conservative concerns about religious liberty, such as ensuring that churches could still refuse to perform gay marriages.

Additionally, states will not be required to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. But they will be required to recognize marriages celebrated in other parts of the country.

Most Republicans in Congress still voted against the legislation. However, he supported it long enough to avoid a filibuster in the Senate and secure its passage.

“Together we show that it is possible for Democrats and Republicans to come together to safeguard our most fundamental rights,” Biden said.

Public opinion in the US has changed dramatically in recent years: in 1996, when the law establishing marriage as a union between a man and a woman was signed, only 27% of Americans supported the gay marriage; while in 2022 support was 71%, according to Gallup.

Tuesday’s ceremony marked another chapter in Biden’s legacy on gay rights.

Biden endorsed same-sex unions in a 2012 television interview when he was vice president. Days later, President Barack Obama announced that he, too, supported gay marriage.

Attendees received a card commemorating Biden’s comments from his 2012 interview.

Since becoming president, Biden has reversed President Donald Trump’s efforts to strip transgender people of anti-discrimination protections. His administration includes the first openly gay cabinet member, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, and the first transgender person to receive Senate confirmation, Assistant Health Secretary Rachel Levine.



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