President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed the Respect for Marriage Act, which formally enshrines some protections for same-sex marriages into federal law.
The event on the South Lawn of the White House was attended by members of the President’s Cabinet, numerous lawmakers, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. and LGBTQ activists participated. including nonbinary drag queen Marti Gould Cummings.
“Today I will sign the Respect for Marriage Act, and whether or not to marry someone is one of the most profound decisions a person can make,” Biden said from the South Lawn of the White House.
“For most of our country’s history, we’ve denied these protections to interracial couples and same-sex couples. We’ve failed. We’ve failed to treat them with equal dignity and respect. And now the law requires interracial marriage. And recognition of same-sex marriage. It’s legal in every state in the country,” Biden said.
The Respect for Marriage Act passed the House by a vote of 258-169 and the Senate by a vote of 61-36.
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During his speech, Biden also took aim at Republican-led states that restrict minors’ crossing operations.
“We must oppose the hundreds of egregious, outrageous laws in states that target transgender children, terrorize families, and criminalize doctors who give children the care they need,” Biden said.
The president and first lady also invited “members, advocates and allies of the LGBTQIA+ community,” including drag queens Cummings and Brita Filter, to the ceremony.
we previously reported that the White House invited Cummings, a non-binary drag queen who has repeatedly attacked police online.
“[Police Benevolent Association of the City of New York] scared, hoarse and weakCummings tweeted in June 2020. “The people will #DefundPolice win.”
Cummings wrote on Aug 24, 2020 “F—the police.”
After reports related to the tweet and earlier posts, Cummings publicly locked down several social media accounts.
“Being a non-binary drag artist invited to the White House is something I never imagined would happen,” Cummings wrote after being invited by the president to attend the ceremony. “Thank you to the President and Dr. Biden for inviting me to sign this historic bill. I cannot express my gratitude.”
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“People, racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, transphobia, they are all connected. But the antidote to hate is love. This law and the defense of love will strike against all forms of hate,” Biden said on Tuesday.
Conservatives reacted to the president’s signing of the bill, saying Biden was a “virtue symbol.”
Ryan Bangert of the conservative law firm Alliance Defending Freedom, which opposed the bill, said in a statement that “rather than protecting millions of Americans, churches and faith-based organizations, the president has chosen to virtue signal by talking about undeniable harm.” from this unnecessary bill.”
“This legislation is a solution in search of a problem that does not provide additional protections or benefits to same-sex couples,” Bangert continued.
Some progressives criticized the bill even before it was signed, saying it didn’t do enough to protect same-sex couples.
Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart, who married his wife in 2017, admitted in a Washington Post column that he supports the bill, but the more he looks at it, the “less excited I get.”
Fox News’ Thomas Catenacci contributed to this report.