Joe Biden has signed landmark legislation which requires all US states to recognise same-sex marriages in what he described as “a blow against hate in all its forms”.

Thousands were invited to celebrate alongside the President at the White House as he signed the Respect for Marriage Act on 13 December.

“Today is a good day,” he said as he took the podium. “A day America takes a vital step toward equality, for liberty and justice — not just for some, but for everyone. Toward creating a nation where decency, dignity and love are recognised, honoured and protected.”

Sam Smith and Cyndi Lauper both performed at the ceremony, the latter of which told reporters that “we can rest easy tonight because our families are validated.”

“And because now we’re allowed to love who we love, which sounds odd to say,” she continued. “But Americans can now love who we love and bless Joe Biden and all the people that worked on this for allowing people not to worry and their children not to worry about their future.”

Advocates pushed Congress to enshrine protections for rights such as same-sex marriage into law after their future was thrown into uncertainty when the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June.

In his opinion of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Justice Clarence Thomas said the Court should “reconsider” decisions like Obergefell v. Hodges, which introduced marriage equality to all 50 states in 2015.

The law acts as a safeguard should this ever be overturned.


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It also protects interracial marriages after laws banning them in 16 states were struck down by the Supreme Court in 1967.

Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House and a longtime champion of LGBTQ+ rights, was met with sustained applause from the crowd and described the Respect for Marriage Act as “a landmark victory in the fight for full equality.”