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US President Biden signs landmark law protecting same-sex and interracial marriages

A sizable group of guests gathered at the White House to commemorate the legislative accomplishment as US President Joe Biden signed a measure extending federal protections to same-sex marriage into law.

Mr. Biden, who as vice president publicly supported same-sex marriage before the Supreme Court legalized them nationwide in 2015, hailed the historic measure as a win for human rights.

During the signing ceremony this afternoon, he said, “America takes a fundamental step toward equality, for liberty and justice, not just for some, but for everyone.”

Left- and right-leaning senators joined forces to block any further efforts to restrict same-sex marriage rights after the US Supreme Court, which is now noticeably more conservative, overturned long-standing abortion rights last June.

Last week’s ultimate adoption of the bill by Congress was a rare instance of bipartisanship in the bitterly divided nation’s capital.

On the grounds of the White House, Mr. Biden gathered with supporters and plaintiffs in marriage equality lawsuits from throughout the nation, as well as a group of Democratic and Republican politicians.

 

The first openly homosexual US senator, Tammy Baldwin, expressed her “overcome excitement” at the law’s signing, which she assisted in drafting in Congress.

She noted in a statement that “today, we are making history and making a difference for millions of Americans.”

“We are communicating that we see and respect the millions of same-sex and interracial relationships.”

The law would “provide peace of mind to millions of LGBTQI+ and multiracial couples who will finally be given the rights and protections to which they and their children are entitled,” according to White House spokesman Karine Jean-Pierre.

As the first openly homosexual White House press secretary, Ms. Jean-Pierre created history.

Singer Cyndi Lauper is introduced by White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre today at a briefing – After the bill was signed, Lauper gave a performance.
Since the Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling legalizing same-sex partnerships across the United States, hundreds of thousands of same-sex couples have wed.

Recent decades have seen a sharp increase in public acceptability, with polls now indicating that a sizable majority of Americans approve same-sex unions.

The religious right and some conservatives continue to disagree, though.

The Respect for Marriage Act, a recent piece of legislation, does not oblige states to recognize same-sex unions but does require them to acknowledge marriages that were lawful in the state in which they were consummated.

In addition to protecting interracial couples by forcing states to recognize legal marriages without regard to “sex, race, ethnicity, or national origin,” it repeals prior legislation that defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

39 Republicans voted in favor of the measure in the House of Representatives, joining a unanimous Democratic majority, while 169 Republicans abstained. It was earlier approved by a vote of 61 to 36 in the Senate, which was evenly split.

Mr. Biden, according to Ms. Jean-Pierre, thinks “there is much more work to be done to defend LGBTQI+ folks across the country.”

The 80-year-old Democrat was one of the first American politicians to openly promote same-sex unions at the highest levels of government, she recalled.

Back in 2012, when Barack Obama was still looking for the best method to make the president’s view official as he ran for re-election to a second term, Mr. Biden caused a stir by openly stating his support for same-sex unions.

The first openly gay person to be confirmed by the Senate to a cabinet position, Mr. Biden chose Pete Buttigieg to be his transport secretary following his own presidential election in 2020.

Beyond the marriage debate, the Biden administration has adopted a strong stance in favor of LGBTQ rights, especially with regard to the transgender population, whose fight for more rights has become a contentious political issue in the nation.

The government overturned a prohibition on transgender persons serving in the armed forces, which was instituted by Mr. Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump. It also introduced gender-neutral passports, allowing those who identify neither as male nor female to select the gender “X.”

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