The U.S. house of Representatives has voted to send the Marriage Equality Bill to President Joe Biden’s desk.
The House has passed a bill to protect marriage equality, sending the measure to President Biden’s desk and marking the first time Congress has provided federal protections for same-sex marriage, as well as interracial unions.
The legislation, titled the Respect for Marriage Act, passed in a 258-169 vote. Thirty-nine Republicans joined all Democrats in supporting the measure.
“I find it deeply poignant that, as we prepare to bring the 117th Congress to a close, we are on the cusp of a great bipartisan moral victory in defense of a fundamental right of all Americans,” Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said on the House floor. “A victory that will provide stability and reassurance to the millions of LGBTQ and interracial families that have come to rely on the constitutional right to marry.”
In July, thanks to the leadership of Representatives David Cicilline (D- RI) and Jerry Nadler (D-NY), the House of Representatives passed the bill with a substantial bipartisan majority of 267 members – including 47 Republicans, reflecting the will of the 71% of Americans who support the freedom to marry.
The Respect for Marriage Act (RMA) will protect the tens of thousands of married same-sex and interracial couples in our country – and the untold others who have planned their lives around the freedom to marry the person they love. RMA affirms that the federal government and all states must recognize the benefits and obligations of marriage even if the Supreme Court chooses to overrule Obergefell v. Hodges and a state bans marriage by people of the same-sex.
The Supreme Court’s decision in June to reverse Roe vs. Wade had raised fears that other precedents such as marriage equality may also be in jeopardy.