Congress has made history by passing a bill protecting same-sex marriage. President Biden is expected to sign the bill quickly, ensuring that it becomes law and the rights of same-sex couples all over the country remain protected. With the overturning of abortion rights in the summer, many people became concerned that same-sex marriage rights may be next.
The legislation protecting marriage passed in a bipartisan vote, with 39 Republicans supporting it. The final vote in the House was 258-169, with the Senate passing it last week and 12 Republicans agreeing to back it. Hundreds of thousands of same-sex couples have married since their right to marry was made legal in 2015. With the changes to abortion laws and concerns over the political climate, though, there were fears that those marriages may be invalidated, and future marriage wouldn’t be allowed.
The passage of this bill puts all of those fears to rest, as every state will be required to recognize marriages between same-sex couples. The bill also protects interracial unions, which some had hinted might also be up for debate going forward. Most Republicans felt the bill wasn’t necessary, and that same-sex and interracial marriages were not in danger, but Democrats didn’t want to take the chance that something like the overturning of Roe v. Wade could happen to other allegedly settled law.
Obergefell v. Hodges was the 2015 case that made same-sex marriage legal everywhere, and there is still a possibility that it could be overturned in the future. While overturning this ruling would mean that states could decide in the future that they do not want same-sex couples to be allowed to marry there, passage of the current bill protecting same-sex marriage means states can’t deny rights to those who are already married, or fail to recognize marriages that took place outside their state.
Anyone who is currently in a same-sex marriage or plans to marry in the future is now protected from changes to the current Supreme Court rulings, and can have peace of mind.
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