Biden Signs Historic Same-Sex Marriage Protections Into Law

The Respect for Marriage Act “strikes a blow towards hate in all its kinds,” Biden mentioned.

President Joe Biden signed the Respect for Marriage Act into regulation on Tuesday — a little bit greater than 10 years after he first introduced his assist for marriage equality as former President Barack Obama’s vice chairman in 2012.

On social media earlier within the day, Biden had celebrated his plans to signal the laws, which can enact federal protections for LGBTQ {couples} who’re looking for to marry or who’ve already married because the landmark 2015 Supreme Court docket ruling Obergefell v. Hodges, which established marriage equality throughout the U.S.

“Immediately, I signal the Respect for Marriage Act into regulation — a landmark civil rights invoice that honors the braveness and sacrifice of generations of {couples} who fought for marriage equality and equal rights,” Biden wrote in a Facebook post on Tuesday morning.

“If there may be one message that breaks by from at the moment, it’s that this regulation — and the find it irresistible defends — strikes a blow towards hate in all its kinds,” Biden added in a Twitter post.

Biden had also previously pointed out that the invoice is simply “one step” on a “lengthy journey to construct a extra good union.”

“We must not ever cease combating for full equality for LGBTQI+ Individuals and all Individuals,” Biden said in a statement last week.

Biden’s views on marriage equality have shifted over the previous 20 years. In 2005, simply 37 p.c of the U.S. inhabitants believed that same-sex {couples} ought to have the authorized proper to marry, according to polling from Gallup. In 2022 — simply 17 years later — 71 p.c again marriage equality.

Within the Nineteen Nineties, Biden voted in favor of homophobic legislation, together with the Protection of Marriage Act, which barred federal recognition of same-sex {couples}’ marriages, even in states the place such marriages had been allowed. (That regulation was later dominated unconstitutional by the Obergefell choice.)

In 2008, as a candidate for vice chairman, Biden mentioned he didn’t consider that same-sex {couples} needs to be granted the best to get married.

“No. Barack Obama nor I assist redefining from a civil facet what constitutes marriage,” Biden said in an interview that year.

4 years later, during an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” program in Might of 2012, Biden described himself as being in full assist of marriage equality, saying:

I’m completely snug with the truth that males marrying males, ladies marrying ladies, and heterosexual women and men marrying one other are entitled to the identical actual rights, all of the civil rights, all of the civil liberties.

The feedback got here as he and then-President Barack Obama had been looking for reelection, simply six months earlier than Election Day. Just a few days after Biden’s interview, Obama announced that he also backed same-sex marriage protections.

Three years after Biden and Obama gained reelection, the Supreme Court docket solidified marriage equality because the regulation of the land.

Some lawmakers and advocates consider that court docket ruling could possibly be endangered, nonetheless.

In a Supreme Court docket ruling earlier this yr that upended federal recognition of abortion rights, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote a concurring opinion through which he mentioned circumstances based mostly on the best to privateness — which embody Obergefell — needs to be reexamined by the Court docket.

In response to this assertion, a bipartisan group of lawmakers, led by Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin), the primary open lesbian within the U.S. Senate’s historical past, drafted the Respect for Marriage Act. After attaching an modification assuring conservatives that the invoice wouldn’t rescind rights for these with spiritual objections to same-sex marriage, the invoice handed in each chambers of Congress, and was despatched to Biden’s desk late final week.

Many advocates — and Biden himself — have famous that marriage equality is just one step in reaching LGBTQ liberation. Certainly, LGBTQ individuals within the U.S. nonetheless face restrictions when adopting children, and expertise larger charges of poverty, incarceration, suicidal ideation and focused violence. In recent times, far proper lawmakers have executed a coordinated marketing campaign to painting homosexual and trans individuals as “groomers,” a baseless and demeaning narrative that has resulted within the passage of anti-LGBTQ laws in statehouses throughout the nation. This rhetoric has additionally led to violent threats and intimidation towards LGBTQ individuals.

LGBTQ teams are celebrating the signing of the Respect for Marriage Act whereas additionally recognizing that many challenges persist.

“The #RMA strikes us one step nearer to on our journey to reaching full liberation for all LGBTQ+ individuals,” Equality Virginia tweeted on Tuesday.

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