In front of a crowd of thousands on Tuesday, President Joe Biden signed gay marriage legislation into law. The ceremony—as well as the bill itself—is a step in the right direction regarding same sex unions.
On the South Lawn of the White House, Biden remarked: “This law and the love it defends strike a blow against hate in all its forms. And that’s why this law matters to every single American.”
Lawmakers representing both Democrats and Republicans were present. First Lady Jill Biden was also present, as well as Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff. Singers Cyndi Lauper and Sam Smith performed at the ceremony.
At the White House briefing room, Lauper said: “For once, our families, mine and a lot of my friends — and people you know, sometimes your neighbors — we can rest easy tonight, because our families are validated.”
The Respect For Marriage Act comes on the heels of last month’s tragic shooting at Club Q, a gay nightclub in Colorado. Five people were killed in the attack. The owner of Club Q attended the bill-signing, as well as two survivors from the shooting.
Biden also addressed the “callous, cynical laws introduced in the states targeting transgender children, terrifying families and criminalizing doctors who give children the care they need.”
He stated: “Racism, antisemitism, homophobia, transphobia, they’re all connected. But the antidote to hate is love.” The purpose of the law is to protect gay marriage if the U.S. Supreme Court decides to reverse Obergefell v. Hodges, which legalized same-sex unions nationally in 2015.
In addition, it safeguards interracial marriages. The Supreme Court got rid of laws that banned interracial marriage in 16 states with Loving v. Virginia in 1967.