Washington — The House on Thursday approved legislation that provides federal protections for same-sex and interracial marriages, sending the landmark bill to President Biden’s desk for his signature and capping a decades-long shift in Americans’ attitudes toward gay marriage.
Called the Respect for Marriage Act, the measure won bipartisan support in the Democratic-led House, after the lower chamber passed this summer a version of the bill with backing from 47 Republicans. The House vote to give final approval to the legislation was 258 to 169, with one Republican voting “present.” Thirty-nineGOP lawmakers joined all Democrats in supporting the bill.
The measure is likely to be one of the last significant legislative accomplishments from the Democratic House, and one of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s final acts as speaker, before the party turns over control of the lower chamber to Republicans with the start of the new Congress in January.
“Today, we stand up for the values the vast majority of Americans hold dear, a belief in the dignity, beauty and divinity, divinity, spark of divinity, in every person and abiding respect for love so powerful that it binds two people together,” Pelosi said in a speech on the House floor.
President Biden said he will sign the bill “promptly and proudly”.