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Activists and Lawmakers Gather to Celebrate as Biden Signs Marriage Equality Bill

HeadlineDec 14, 2022

President Biden signed the Respect for Marriage Act into law Tuesday, enshrining federal protections for same-sex and interracial marriages. Biden spoke at the celebratory event, which featured musical performers and a White House illuminated in rainbow colors.

President Joe Biden: “Racism, antisemitism, homophobia, transphobia — they’re all connected. But the antidote to hate is love.”

The new law would not prevent states from banning same-sex marriage if the conservative-led Supreme Court overturns Obergefell v. Hodges, but it would force those states to recognize marriages from another state. It also repeals the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act.

Among the speakers at the White House ceremony were Gina and Heidi Nortonsmith, plaintiffs in the lawsuit that led to marriage equality in Massachusetts. This is Heidi Nortonsmith.

Heidi Nortonsmith: “It takes the efforts of many to bend the arc of history toward justice. Even now there are so many places where people in our community are under attack. The work will continue. But look at how far we’ve come.”

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