resident Joe Biden signed into law Tuesday landmark new federal protections for same-sex and interracial couples, capping both a personal and national evolution on an issue that’s enjoyed growing acceptance over the past decade.
According to CNN, Biden signed the Respect for Marriage Act before thousands of invited guests on the South Lawn at an event the White House said reflected the importance of the moment.
“Marriage is a simple proposition. Who do you love? And will you be loyal to that person you love?” the president asked from the South Lawn. “It’s not more complicated than that.”
Biden said the law he was about to sign recognizes that “everyone should have the right to answer those questions for themselves without the government interference,” and secures the federal “protections that come with marriage.”
“For most of our nation’s history, we denied interracial couples and same sex couples from these protections,” Biden said. “It failed to treat them with equal dignity and respect. And now, this law requires an interracial marriage and same-sex marriage must be recognized as legal in every state in the nation.”
The new law officially voids the Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as between a man and a woman. It mandates that states honor the validity of out-of-state marriage licenses, including same-sex and interracial unions.