Feature image photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images
This afternoon, at a big gay party on the White House lawn, President Biden signed the (kinda) bipartisan Respect For Marriage Act into law. It’s been a pretty speedy process, as far as these things go. The Senate passed the bill with a vote of vote of 61 to 36 two weeks ago. The House took it up and passed it 258-169 last week (39 Republicans joined the yeses). And that was just enough time for the Biden Administration to invite all the LGBTQs in town to join them for a celebration. “We are reaffirming a fundamental truth,” Biden said in his speech before signing the bill. “Love is love, and Americans should have the right to marry the person they love.”
Biden, just before signing the Respect for Marriage Act into law, reminds the crowd at this WH ceremony of that time on Meet The Press when he got ahead of Obama and backed same-sex marriage.
"On a certain TV show 10 years ago, I might have gotten in trouble." pic.twitter.com/oLdFSS5OHP
— Jennifer Bendery (@jbendery) December 13, 2022
Congress came together to get the Respect For Marriage law passed after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. The new law ensures that same-gender and interracial marriages will be federally recognized, regardless of individual state laws, as long as the marriage was performed in a state where same-gender and interracial marriage are legal. (That’s all states right now, but who knows what’s going to happen.) It also repeals the Clinton-era Defense of Marriage Act that defined marriage as commitment between a man and a woman.
In addition to LGBTQ activists, legislators, and their family and friends, Biden was joined by Grammy winners Sam Smith and Cyndi Lauper, who preformed “Stay With Me” and “True Colors.”
During her speech, Nancy Pelosi, who is nearing the end of her tenure as House Speaker, said, “This is about respect. This is about taking pride and it’s about time that we do so at the federal level.”
I know it’s not a perfect situation, by any stretch of the imagination, and most LGBTQ+ people are worried about way more than marriage equality. Like, you know, being able to afford to eat and see a doctor and survive high school. I am grateful for it. As a lesbian living with a chronic illness and disability, I need to know that my wife is going to be able to stay by side and make all the legal decisions a husband could make. I need to know she’s always going to have access to our shared finances and that our insurance companies won’t be able to discriminate against us if we ever need to pivot on our coverage. I need to know if we’re forced to ever move back to either of our home states (Georgia and Wisconsin), our marriage will be as valid, federally, as it is where we got married here in New York City. It sets my mind at ease about one thing, and that’s worth a whole lot in this world right now.
You can watch the full two-hour White House lawn party if you want!