MercoPress, en Español

Montevideo, December 9th 2023 - 12:07 UTC



Biden signs into law bill granting same-sex, interracial marriage rights

Wednesday, December 14th 2022 - 09:57 UTC
Full article
“The road to this moment has been long,” Biden said before signing the bill “The road to this moment has been long,” Biden said before signing the bill

US President Joseph Biden Tuesday signed into law the bill protecting same-sex and interracial marriage after it was approved by Congress last week.

The Respect for Marriage Act codifies the right to marry a partner regardless of sex or race. It passed the House of Representatives by 258 votes in favor to 169 against, while the Senate approved the bill in a 61-36 decision. The bill repeals the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act.

“Today is a good day. A day America takes a vital step toward equality,” Biden said at the signing ceremony on the South Lawn. “Toward liberty and justice not just for some, but for everyone.”

“Deciding who you 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?”

The new law federally shields interracial and same-sex marriage and is effective since the second Biden signed it would protect interracial and same-sex marriages in the event of court rulings in the opposite direction, it was explained. The law bans any state from challenging the legality of a marriage, regardless of the sex or race of its partners. It also repeals the Defense of Marriage Act passed in 1996 under the Bill Clinton administration (1993-2001) which stated that marriage could only occur between a man and a woman. As a Senator, Biden voted in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act supporting that view. At that time, only 27% of Americans supported same-sex marriage, while in 2022 support was 71%, according to Gallup. Advocacy for equal marriage gained momentum after the Supreme Court in June overturned Roe v Wade, which for nearly half a century protected access to abortion. Biden noted that the Supreme Court's decision in Dobbs vs. Jackson Women's Health Organization, which overturned Roe v Wade, was a crucial factor in pushing Congress to codify marriage rights.

Already in 2012, then-Vice-President Biden stated in an interview on NBC that he supported equal marriage. At Tuesday's event, Biden recalled that the incident had got him “in trouble.”

“The road to this moment has been long. So many of you put your relationships on the line, your jobs on the line, your lives on the line to fight for the law I'm about to sign,” he also said Tuesday.

“By enacting this law we are sending a message to LGBTQ Americans everywhere. You too deserve dignity. You too deserve equality. That's about as an American ideal as they come,” Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said.

Categories: Politics, United States.
Tags: Joe Biden.

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules

Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!