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President Biden signs bill codifying same-sex, interracial marriage rights

Biden Gay Marriage
Posted at 7:08 AM, Dec 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-13 16:51:13-05

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.

"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.

Although the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that states must allow same-sex couples the opportunity to wed, there have been concerns that the Supreme Court might revisit that ruling. The concerns came following the Supreme Court’s landmark decision to overturn Roe v. Wade earlier this year.

Writing the majority opinion in the abortion case Dobbs v. Jackson, Justice Clarence Thomas suggested the Supreme Court should revisit past cases.

“In future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell. Because any substantive due process decision is ‘demonstrably erroneous,’ we have a duty to ‘correct the error’ established in those precedents,” Thomas wrote.

Biden mentioned the Supreme Court during the bill signing ceremony.

"Congress is acting because an extreme Supreme Court has stripped away the right important to millions of Americans," he said.

The Our Respect for Marriage Act passed the Senate with 61 votes. The bill garnered support from 12 Senate Republicans, including former presidential nominee Mitt Romney who previously expressed opposition to same-sex marriage.

All 36 no votes in the Senate were among Republicans.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, suggested the Supreme Court was wrong in Obergefell v. Hodges, saying the decision to permit gay marriage should be left to states.

“In Obergefell, the court said, 'No, we know better than you guys do, and now every state must, must sanction and permit gay marriage.' I think that decision was clearly wrong when it was decided. It was the court overreaching,” he said on his podcast.