It was overwhelmingly approved by Congress on Thursday, marking a significant breakthrough in the protracted and once-improbable fight for marriage equality and national acceptance of LGBTQ rights.
The measure requiring all states to recognize same-sex weddings was approved by the Democratic-led House of Representatives by a vote of 258-169, thereby acting as insurance for the hundreds of thousands of couples who have tied the knot since such unions became legal.
All Democrats supported the bill, which had passed the Senate, while 39 Republicans agreed with it. By requiring states to recognize valid marriages regardless of “s*x, race, ethnicity, or national origin,” it also safeguards interracial relationships.
No one should face discrimination because of who they love. The #RespectForMarriageAct will ensure critical federal protections for same-sex and interracial marriages.
I was proud to vote YES on this historic legislation. https://t.co/UJ4jribeQc
— Rep. Peter Welch (@PeterWelch) December 8, 2022
It will now be signed into law by President Biden, who promised to do it “promptly and proudly.”
Ritchie Torres, a representative for the Bronx, said, “Today we put the equality of same-s*x love in its rightful place under the protection of federal law” (D-N.Y.) “We in the LGBTQ community shall decide our own legal equality and write our own marriage contracts,”
Rep. Jerrold Nadler continued, “We are on the verge of a triumph that will offer stability and security to the millions of LGBTQ and multiracial families” (D-N.Y.)
Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House, expressed her pride in the Respect for Marriage Act’s passage as one of the last accomplishments of her decades-long tenure as the head of the Democratic Party.
In her speech, Pelosi declared, “We stand up for a belief in the dignity, beauty, and [the] spark of divinity in every individual, and abiding respect for love so strong that it ties two people together.”
By any standard, the lopsided vote and a matching Senate result demonstrate a fundamental shift in American public opinion regarding homosexual marriage, which was once dismissed as a progressive pipe dream but is now overwhelmingly supported.
On a VASTLY bipartisan vote, the House of Representatives has passed the #RespectForMarriageAct 258-169 & is sending it directly to @POTUS’ desk where he’ll quickly sign it! This is a beautiful day for #MarriageEquality in the U.S. #LoveIsLove https://t.co/8p4tXfMAQZ
— NCLR – National Center for Lesbian Rights (@NCLRights) December 8, 2022
Democrats pushed for the legislation this summer in response to the conservative-dominated Supreme Court’s rollback of abortion rights and uncertainty over the fate of its 2015 decision allowing same-s*x unions. A right-wing filibuster threat was defeated last week by the Senate passing the law with the support of 12 Republicans after months of negotiations.
Republicans made the absurd premise that such insurance coverage was unnecessary because it was improbable that the court would reinstate same-sex unions, considering that they had also used the fallacious justification of reproductive freedom.
Other far-right Republican conservatives made little attempt to conceal their hatred of LGBTQ people.
Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Missouri) broke down in tears as she pleaded with her fellow lawmakers to refrain from undermining the “natural marriage” of a man and a woman.
According to Rep. Bob Good, marriage between one man and one woman is God’s perfect design (R-Va.) “It’s irrelevant whether you or I think something. According to the Bible says.
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