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House Passes Legislation To Protect Interracial and Same Sex Marriage

In a landmark decision, the House passed legislation to protect same sex and interracial marriage. Biden will sign the bill, but votes were tallied 258 to 169, with 39 Republicans voting yes on the bill.

The Respect for Marriage Act passed with bipartisan support in a 258-169 vote. Thirty-nine Republicans joined Democrats in voting yes on the measure.

The legislation passed with cheers and hugs on the floor. Former Rep. Barney Frank, an openly gay Democrat who has long fought for marriage equality, was present for the vote.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Rep. David Cicilline, Sen. Tammy Baldwin, Rep. Jerry Nadler and Republican Sen. Susan Collins held a bill enrollment ceremony celebrating the bill’s passage.

“What a great day,” Pelosi said at the ceremony, thanking her colleagues for their support. “At last we have history in the making, but not only are we on the ride sight of history, we are on the right side of the future: expanding freedom in America.”

Pelosi, who is leaving her post as House Democratic leader, has said she is “particularly happy” the Respect for Marriage Act will be one of the last bills she signs in her role.

“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-won progress,” Pelosi said in a floor speech ahead of the vote.

Biden has said he’s prepared to sign the measure after it passed the House. In a statement after Senate passage last week, he said he will “promptly and proudly sign it into law.”

Ensuring same-sex marriage rights are protected between states became a top priority for Democrats in light of the Supreme Court’s June decision to overrule its precedent in 1973’s Roe v. Wade guaranteeing a constitutional right to abortion.

Justice Clarence Thomas indicated in a concurring opinion at the time that he would like to see the court reverse the 2015 ruling Obergefell v. Hodges guaranteeing the national right to same-sex marriage, which was decided on similar grounds as Roe.

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