President Joe Biden signed the so-called Respect for Marriage Act into law Tuesday at a White House ceremony filled with guests that included a “queer youth” activist drag queen.
The RMA repeals the longstanding (but unenforced) Defense of Marriage Act (which recognized marriage as a man-woman union in federal law and protected states’ rights to do the same), federally recognizes any “marriage” lawfully performed by any state and forces every state to recognize any “marriage” of any other state “between two individuals,” without regard for “the sex, race, ethnicity, or national origin of those individuals.”
Tensions have swirled over the bill since July, when 47 Republicans joined Democrats to pass the first version out of the U.S. House of Representatives. But while opposition from conservative groups, religious leaders, and Republican voters led supporters to offer amendments meant primarily to satisfy religious liberty concerns (inadequately, according to conservatives), the Senate voted to pass the amended version, with 12 Republicans joining Democrats. The House voted last week to pass the final version, with 39 Republicans joining Democrats.
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