The US House on Thursday approved legislation to protect same-sex and interracial marriage. The bill has been sent to US President Joe Biden's desk for his signature so that it becomes law, CNN reported.
The House vote was 258 to 169 with 39 Republicans joining Democrats in supporting the legislation. The House's vote for the 'Respect for Marriage Act,' comes after the Senate passed the same bill last week by a vote of 61-36, as per the CNN report. During the voting in the Senate, all the members of the Senate Democratic caucus and 12 Republicans voted in favour of the bill.
In a speech on the Floor of the House, US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, "I rise today in strong support for the Respect of Marriage Act, a historic step forward in Democrats' fight to defend the dignity and equality of every American." She called on lawmakers to support the bill and uphold the inviolability of same-sex marriage and interracial marriages.
Nancy Pelosi stated, "We must act now on a bipartisan, bicameral basis to combat bigoted extremism and uphold the inviolability of same-sex and interracial marriages. Once signed into law, the Respect for Marriage Act will help prevent right-wing extremists from upending the lives of loving couples, traumatizing kids across the country and turning back the clock on hard-work progress."
Furthermore, Pelosi stressed that the legislation will take measures to uphold marriage equality under federal law. She further said, "Today, we stand up for the values the vast majority of Americans hold dear, a belief in the dignity, beauty and divinity, spark of divinity, in every person and abiding respect for love so powerful that it binds two people together."
Notably, the bill will not set a national requirement that all states must legalize same-sex marriage. However, individual states will recognise another state's legal marriage. The vote on legislation protecting same-sex marriage gained attention in the United States after the Supreme Court earlier this year overturned the Roe v. Wade decision.
Earlier in June, The Supreme Court said that there is no longer a federal constitutional right to an abortion. When Roe v. Wade decision was overturned, Justice Clarence Thomas urged the court to reconsider the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision that recognised same-sex marriage. (ANI)