The House is expected to vote and pass legislation on Thursday to protect same-sex and interracial marriage, the last step before the measure goes to President Joe Biden for his signature and becomes law.
The bill, called the Respect for Marriage Act, passed the Senate with a vote of 61 to 36 last week. The bill was supported by all members of the Senate Democratic caucus and 12 Republicans.
The push for a vote on federal legislation protecting same-sex marriage rapidly gained momentum after the Supreme Court in June overturned its landmark Roe v. Wade decision.
While the bill would not set a national requirement that all states must legalize same-sex marriage, it would require individual states to recognize another state’s legal marriage.
So, in the event the Supreme Court might overturn its 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision that legalized same-sex marriage, a state could still pass a law to ban same-sex marriage, but that state would also be required to recognize a same-sex marriage from another state.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wrote in an op-ed published to The Washington Post Wednesday she is “overjoyed” that one of the last bills she will help pass while she holds the title of speaker will be the legislation protecting same-sex marriage in the United States.
“Just as I began my career fighting for LGBTQ communities, I am overjoyed that one of the final bills I will sign as speaker will be the Respect for Marriage Act: ensuring the federal government will never again stand in the way of marrying the person you love,” she wrote in the op-ed.
President Joe Biden applauded Senate passage of the Respect for Marriage Act last week, saying in a statement: “For millions of Americans, this legislation will safeguard the rights and protections to which LGBTQI+ and interracial couples and their children are entitled.” (SOURCE)