Biden to sign landmark same-sex marriage bill at White House


President Joe Biden will sign legislation protecting same-sex and interracial marriage on Tuesday afternoon.

Biden is hosting a celebration beginning at 3:30 p.m. ET on the South Lawn of the White House with lawmakers and Cabinet members as the Respect for Marriage Act becomes law.

Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Monday that Biden “will be joined by a bipartisan group of lawmakers as well as lawyers and plaintiffs in marriage equality cases across the country.”

“There will be musical guests and performances,” Jean-Pierre said, adding that the president “will also note that there is still a lot of work to be done” and he will repeat his call for passing federal legislation known as the Equality Act name to expand civil rights protections for LGBTQ people.

The landmark marriage bill passed with bipartisan support in both houses of Congress after months of negotiation, particularly over religion-related provisions.

The House voted 258-169 last week to send the bill to Biden’s office after the Senate passed it 61-36. A minority of Republicans joined Democrats in both votes.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi participates in a bill signing ceremony alongside Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and a bipartisan group of Senators and Representatives for the Respect Act of the wedding at the United States Capitol on December 8, 2022, in Washington, DC

Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Wisconsin Democrat Tammy Baldwin, the first openly gay senator, helped guide the legislation in Congress. Baldwin said the bill “will protect the hard-won progress we’ve made on marriage equality.”

It became a priority for Democrats after the Supreme Court’s June decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, in which five conservative justices decided to overturn Roe v. Wade and the national abortion access guarantee. .

Judge Clarence Thomas, in a concurring opinion, said he believed the court should reconsider other precedents based on similar legal doctrine, including Obergefell v. Hodges of 2015 – which concluded that the 14th Amendment requires all states to allow same-sex marriages.

The Respect for Marriage Act does not include the national Obergefell requirement, but will require each state to recognize same-sex and interracial marriages that have been legally solemnized in another state.

Some Republicans who voted for it in Congress have noted additional language about protecting religious groups that still oppose same-sex marriage.

Critics like Utah Sen. Mike Lee, however, said it didn’t go far enough.

Biden celebrated the passage of the Respecting Marriage Act last week, saying it would “give peace of mind to millions of LGBTQI+ and interracial couples who are now guaranteed the rights and protections they are entitled to.” and their children are entitled”.

“After the uncertainty caused by the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, Congress has reinstated a measure of safety for millions of marriages and families,” he said in a statement. “They have also given 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 are building.

PHOTO: In this November 9, 2022 file photo, President Joe Biden answers questions from reporters during a post-election press conference at the White House in Washington, DC

In this November 9, 2022 file photo, President Joe Biden answers questions from reporters during a post-election press conference at the White House in Washington, DC

Anadolu Agency via Getty Images, FILE

Biden has long been outspoken on the issue. In 2012, he edged out then-President Barack Obama in publicly supporting same-sex marriage.

“I’m absolutely comfortable with the fact that men who marry men, women who marry women, and heterosexual men and women who marry each other are entitled to the exact same rights, all civil rights, all civil liberties,” Biden said during an interview with the Times on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

” Who do you Love ? Who do you love and will you be faithful to the person you love? Biden said then. “And that’s what people are finding out, what all marriages are at their root.”

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., was emotional when the bill passed the House on Thursday. Pelosi, stepping down from her leadership role in the new Congress, said she was glad the bill was one of the last she was signing as the first House Democrat.

“Finally, we have history in motion,” she said at the bill’s enshrinement ceremony last week. “But not only are we on the right side of history, we’re on the right side of the future, expanding freedom in America.”

ABC News’ Molly Nagle contributed to this report.


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