Pres. Biden, Vice Pres. Harris, senators react to same-sex marriage bill Senate passage

FILE (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File) (Evan Vucci, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

On Tuesday, the Senate passed the Respect for Marriage Act, prompting reactions for lawmakers across the nation.

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The bill, which would ensure that same-sex and interracial marriages are enshrined in federal law, was approved 61-36 on Tuesday.

President Biden released a statement on the passage, expressing his support.

“With today’s bipartisan Senate passage of the Respect for Marriage Act, the United States is on the brink of reaffirming a fundamental truth: love is love, and Americans should have the right to marry the person they love. For millions of Americans, this legislation will safeguard the rights and protections to which LGBTQI+ and interracial couples and their children are entitled. It will also ensure that, for generations to follow, LGBTQI+ youth will grow up knowing that they, too, can lead full, happy lives and build families of their own. Importantly, the Senate’s passage of the Respect for Marriage Act is a bipartisan achievement. I’m grateful to the determined Members of Congress — especially Senators Baldwin, Collins, Portman, Sinema, Tillis, and Feinstein — whose leadership has underscored that Republicans and Democrats together support the essential right of LGBTQI+ and interracial couples to marry. I look forward to welcoming them at the White House after the House passes this legislation and sends it to my desk, where I will promptly and proudly sign it into law.”

Statement from President Biden

Vice President of the United States, Kamala Harris, released her statement Tuesday evening, saying such a movement is a person’s right.

“Today, thanks to the hard work of Majority Leader Schumer, Speaker Pelosi, and bipartisan colleagues, the Respect for Marriage Act is finally on its way to becoming law.

I had the honor to perform some of our nation’s first same sex marriages at San Francisco City Hall in 2004, where couples celebrated not only a joyful union, but the protection and respect of fundamental human rights. The right to start a family and raise children. The right to be who you are, openly and proudly. The right to support the person you love, whether at a hospital bedside, a military deployment ceremony, or applying for citizenship.

Our Administration stands for the fundamental right to marry the person you love and live free from discrimination. The Respect for Marriage Act ultimately stands for a simple principle: all Americans are equal and their government should treat them that way. Today, we are one step closer to achieving that ideal with pride.”

Statement from Vice President Kamala Harris

Senator Tim Kaine, reflected on his time as Governor and his strides toward marriage equality after the passage.

“I am deeply gratified by today’s passage of a bill protecting marriage equality in the United States. In 2006, over my objection, Virginia passed a referendum amending the state constitution to deny any recognition to same-sex relationships. One of my major priorities when I became a Senator was making progress on marriage equality. When I became Senator in 2013, I joined many Senate Democratic colleagues in an amicus brief to the Supreme Court arguing that marriage equality should be the law of the land. I was pleased with the Supreme Court’s Obergefell ruling in June 2015 and assumed that marriage equality was now protected for all.”

Senator Tim Kaine

Senator Mark Warner also weighed in on the legislation, saying he was proud to vote for its passage.

“Marriage is not only a spiritual bond between two individuals, it’s also a binding contract that cements essential benefits, rights, and privileges. This bill will ensure that gay marriages are recognized across the country, thereby protecting same-sex couples from discrimination that would otherwise block their access to health care, paid family medical leave, hospital visitation, and parental rights — among many others. I was proud to vote for this piece of legislation and urge my colleagues in the House of Representatives to pass it and send it to the President’s desk soon.

Senator Mark Warner

“This is a meaningful step to protect rights already established by the Obergefell ruling, but Virginia still has a ban on same-sex marriages at the state level, and it’s time to repeal it,” Warner added.

The Senate version of the Respect for Marriage Act must now be passed by the House, officials said. You can see the full text of the Respect for Marriage Act here.

About the Author

Alli Graham came aboard the digital team as an evening digital content producer in June 2022.

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