Respect for Marriage Act Headed to Biden’s Desk After Passing the House

Feature image photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

I honestly feel like maybe I’m in some kind of fever dream right now because it seems impossible that earlier this week, Raphael Warnock won his Senate run-off; earlier today, Brittney Griner was freed from a Russian penal colony and boarded a plane home; and now news out of the Capitol that the House has passed the Respect for Marriage Act with a vote of 258-169 . The bill passed the Senate last week and will now move to President Biden’s desk.

House Democrats voted unanimously for the Respect For Marriage Act, which ensures that same-gender and interracial marriages will be federally recognized regardless of state laws, and also repeals the Clinton-era Defense of Marriage Act that defined marriage as commitment between a man and a woman. 39 Republicans also supported the bill. Fearing that the Supreme Court would overturn Obergefell v. Hodges — a 2015 decision that requires all states to issues marriage licensees to gay couples — the way it overturned Roe v. Wade, lesbian Senator Tammy Baldwin led the way on the legislation.

According to CNN, “loud applause broke out in the chamber when the vote was gaveled to a close” by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post earlier this week about how proud she was to protect marriage as one of her last acts as Speaker.

“Our nation is forever grateful for the many extraordinary contributions that LGBTQ Americans have made in the arts and sciences, health care and human rights, businesses and nonprofits, and as leaders in our communities, “Pelosi wrote. “To our LGBTQ friends, family and neighbors: We see you, we stand with you and we will never rest until you can enjoy the respect, dignity and safety you deserve.”

Biden has already said that he looks forward to signing the law. Vice-President Kamala Harris, who spent the morning with the President and Cherelle Griner upon receiving the news that Brittney Griner was on her way home, has released a video celebrating the victory.

What a day!

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Heather Hogan

Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle senior editor who lives in New York City with her wife, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She's a member of the Television Critics Association, GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Twitter and Instagram.

Heather has written 1718 articles for us.


  1. Amazing!!! Unfortunately, still some potential risk in states where it wasn’t legal before Obergefell. Marriage licenses might not be grandfathered in if the supreme court overturns it. Definitely talk to a lawyer if kids are in the picture.

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