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US President Joe Biden Signs Historic Bill To Protect Same-Sex And Inter-Racial Marriages

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The United States President Joe Biden signed the popular Respect for Marriage Act, putting federal protection for same-sex marriage and inter-racial unions into law while giving Democrats a win.

On Tuesday, while attending a  ceremony on the White House’s South Lawn, Joe Biden said, “Today’s a good day. A day America takes a vital step toward equality, toward liberty and justice, not just for some but for everyone,” while also interpreting the choice of a marriage partner as “one of the most profound decisions a person can make.”

“The law recognizes that everyone should have the right to answer those questions for themselves, without government interference,” the president further said. “Now the law requires that interracial marriage and same-sex marriage must be recognized as legal in every state and the nation.”

The signing of the bill at the White House was a big moment for supporters of the move, which was witnessed by important members of the LGBTQ community and allies, and was celebrated with musical performances by Cyndi Lauper and others.

Also in attendance were congressional leaders, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. The ruling Democratic party wanted the enactment during the end-of-year session when they still enjoy majorities in both chambers of Congress.

Republicans will partly control the House in January, while Democrats had shown concerns that the US Supreme Court could undo the rights for same-sex couples. The judiciary in June abolished the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision implementing a national right to an abortion.

Justice Clarence Thomas of the Supreme Court stated in a concurring opinion that the court should review more “due process precedents,” such as the 2015 decision requiring all states to provide same-sex marriage licenses.

Biden also said Congress was taking the decision “because of the extreme Supreme Court,” which he mentioned had taken away a right “important to millions of Americans that existed for half a century.”

Last week, the House voted 258-169 to clear the bill, with 39 House Republicans joining in support. The House had earlier passed the bill in July but acted on it again after the Senate altered the bill to include provisions intended to ensure protections for religious liberty.

Some Republicans are of the view that the legislation is unimportant and would interfere with religious rights even after the Senate changes.

Biden also mentioned his own efforts to promote same-sex marriage acceptance.

Back in May 2012, when Joe Biden was the Vice President, he pitched his support for same-sex marriage in a TV interview and became the highest-designated Democrat to openly promote the idea, ahead of President Barack Obama.

Days after this, Obama also expressed his support in an interview.

“I got in trouble,” he joked recalling the incident on Tuesday.

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