Same-sex marriage becomes the law in America

As US President Joe Biden has signed the American Respect for Marriage Act about six-in-ten Americans say legalisation of same-sex marriage is good for society.
FUSE  |  World News
Photo by: Maico Pereira

US President Joe Biden has signed the American Respect for Marriage Act, closing a chapter that began when Jack Baker and Michael McConnell applied, unsuccessfully, for a marriage licence in Minnesota in 1970. For many gay Americans, together with their friends and families, the new law comes as a relief.

No longer is the right to marry contingent on the makeup of the Supreme Court at any given time. Even if the court strikes down Obergefell v Hodges, the 2015 case that legalised gay marriage in America, the effects of doing so would be much reduced.

The signing took place on the South Lawn of the White House before an audience of invited guests. The jubilant celebration included longtime LGBTQ rights activist Cyndi Lauper (pictured below in the White House press briefing prior to the signing ceremony) performing "True Colors" in front of thousands of well-wishers on the White House lawn, pausing at the end to allow the crowd to sing "true colors are like a rainbow… beautiful."

“Marriage is a simple proposition. Who do you love? And will you be loyal to that person you love?” President Biden said, marking the moment. “It’s not more complicated than that.” This new law, he said, recognises 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.”

The law is one of the very first pieces of legislation passed by Congress and signed by the President that explicitly provides protections for LGBTQ people. The Respect for Marriage Act annuls the Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as between a man and a woman. It mandates that every state must honor any and all marriages legally performed in any part of the United States, including those performed in other states or territories. In addition to protections for same-sex unions, the new law also protects the marriages of interracial couples.



About six-in-ten Americans say legalisation of same-sex marriage is good for society.

About six-in-ten adults (61%) express a positive view of the impact of same-sex marriage being legal, including 36% who say it is very good for society. Roughly four-in-ten have a negative view (37%), with 19% saying it is very bad.

The new survey – which was fielded in October 2022, before the US midterm elections – comes as some have questioned whether same-sex marriage will remain legal nationally following the US Supreme Court’s June decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, turning abortion laws back to the states.



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