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Same-sex and interracial marriage rights are now law

Posted at 6:08 AM, Dec 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-13 18:09:53-05

President Joe Biden signed legislation on Tuesday that codifies same-sex and interracial marriage rights into law.

"Now, a law requires that interracial marriage and same-sex marriage must be recognized as legal in every state in the nation," Biden said.

The Respect for Marriage Act passed in the House by a 258-169 margin last Thursday with 39 Republicans joining all 219 Democrats in supporting the motion. One-hundred and sixty-nine House Republicans voted against it.

The new law states, in part:

(1) No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family.

(2) Diverse beliefs about the role of gender in marriage are held by reasonable and sincere people based on decent and honorable religious or philosophical premises. Therefore, Congress affirms that such people and their diverse beliefs are due proper respect.

(3) Millions of people, including interracial and same-sex couples, have entered into marriages and have enjoyed the rights and privileges associated with marriage. Couples joining in marriage deserve to have the dignity, stability, and ongoing protection that marriage affords to families and children.

"It's been a long road, but we've got it done," Biden said from the White House lawn. "We're going to continue the work ahead. I promise you."

The legislation also allows religious organizations not to perform ceremonies that go against their beliefs. While some religious groups still opposed the legislation, it earned support from organizations that have not supported same-sex marriage rights in the past.

Click here to read the full text of the law (PDF).