By Lizzie Sun, Staff Reporter Lady Gaga’s hit song “Born This Way” blasted on the South Lawn of the White House after President Joe Biden signed the Respect for Marriage Act on Dec. 13, solidifying the bill into law. The Respect for Marriage Act gives security to millions of same-sex and interracial couples across the...
By Lizzie Sun, Staff Reporter
Lady Gaga’s hit song “Born This Way” blasted on the South Lawn of the White House after President Joe Biden signed the Respect for Marriage Act on Dec. 13, solidifying the bill into law.
The Respect for Marriage Act gives security to millions of same-sex and interracial couples across the United States. It drew a vote of 258-169 in the U.S. House of Representatives and 61-36 in the Senate, not strictly divided among party lines.
The act resets the federal definition of marriage from “one man, one woman” to any two individuals. The Respect for Marriage Act requires all 50 states to recognize same-sex marriages and prohibits denying an individual rights or claims because of out-of-state marriages based on gender, race, ethnicity or national origin.
“I think it’s a much-needed solace for a lot of LGBTQ youth because there’s been a lot of violence in the news,” said senior Camden Hadjiliadis, president of the Gender Sexuality Alliance Club. “And so this is something that kids can look at and see there is a future that doesn’t involve violence.”
39 Republicans in the House and 12 in the Senate voted for the Respect for Marriage Act, a pro-LGBTQ+ law. David Anderson, a U.S. Government teacher, believes that the number of Republican votes was expected due to modern trends: 71% of American adults support same-sex marriage — a 44% jump from 1996.
“I think that people’s perspectives and beliefs and ideas (have) changed,” Anderson said, “And so it has gained a lot of public support, including from members of the House and Senate.”
The Respect for Marriage Act’s policies are not new. The cases U.S. v. Windsor and Obergefell v. Hodges legalized all the aspects of the Respect for Marriage Act. Justice Clarence Thomas’ suggestion that, after last summer’s overturning of the landmark case Roe v. Wade, protections for same-sex and interracial couples could be “reconsidered” led advocates to push to secure the given rights into law.
“I think the Oberegefell v. Hodges Supreme Court case was historically more monumental and had a greater shift. This (Respect for Marriage Act) law, on the other hand, is more of a support and an insurance policy for what already existed,” Anderson said.
Junior Charles Reynolds is happy that the Respect for Marriage Act is now a law, and believes that it shows that the country is making progress.
“I think that this is a small step,” Reynolds said. “It’s important because it makes it mandatory for everyone to recognize gay marriage — it adds more legitimacy to it.”
Lizzie Sun can be reached at [email protected]
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