President Biden Signs Respect for Marriage Act into Law

Updated December 12, 2022, at 7:40 AM

President Biden signed the Respect for Marriage Act into law this afternoon at a ceremony at the White House. The bill, while notably missing the national requirement of the Obergefell Supreme Court decision, does mandate that individual states must recognize same-sex and interracial marriages that were lawfully performed in another state.

Biden was joined by Pennsylvania State Representative Jessica Benham (D – South Side Slopes and hill top neighborhoods), State Representative-Elect La’Tasha Mayes (D – Hill District, Oakland, Bloomfield, Highland Park, East Liberty, and Homewood), Judy Kasen-Windsor, the widow of Edie Windsor, whose 2013 landmark case before the Supreme Court decided that legally married same-sex couples are entitled to the same federal benefits as heterosexual couples; Matthew Haynes, owner of Club Q and Club Q survivors James Slaugh and Michael Anderson; plaintiffs in the case that enshrined same-sex marriage in federal law; the co-counsel in the case that legalized interracial marriage and a survivor of the Pulse nightclub shooting.

“On this day, Jill and I are thinking of the courageous couples and fiercely committed advocates who have fought for decades to secure nationwide marriage equality at the Supreme Court and in Congress,” Mr. Biden said in a statement after the bill passed last week. “We must never stop fighting for full equality for L.G.B.T.Q.I.+ Americans and all Americans.”

Passage of the Respect for Marriage Act became a priority after the Supreme Court’s reversal of abortion rights by overturning their decision in Roe. Supreme Court Justice Thomas at the time commented that other previous Supreme Court decisions should be revisited, including Obergefell.

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