Biden Signs Same-Sex And Interracial Marriage Law

December 13, 2022

President Biden on Tuesday signed the “Respect for Marriage” act into law, offering protections for same-sex and interracial marriages.

“Today’s a good day,” Biden said during a ceremony on the South Lawn. “Today America takes a final step toward equality, toward liberty and justice not just for some but for everyone.” 

The bill was passed along bipartisan lines, overcoming a Senate filibuster November 29, and then receiving final approval in the House by a vote of 258-169 on December 8.

The law is intended to ensure that the Supreme Court does not take away the right that was guaranteed by the 2015 decision Obergefell v Hodges, as conservative Justice Clarence Thomas suggested was possible when the Court struck down the right to abortion on June 24.

The Respect for Marriage Law does not set a national requirement that all states must legalize same-sex marriage, but it does require that individual states recognize another state’s legal marriage. In doing so, the law repeals the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act which defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

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