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President Biden Signs Respect for Marriage Act into U.S. Law

On the afternoon of Tuesday, December 13th, President Biden signed the Respect for Marriage Act into federal law. This legislation was seen as an attempt by Congressional Democrats to get ahead of Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas, whose opinion during Dobbs was leaked stating they may consider overturning Obergefell v Hodges, the landmark judicial case which sent same-sex marriages national.

This is the first time in U.S. history that federal legislation has passed for both protecting same-sex marriages as well as interracial marriages. The legislation creates a “backup” federal position in the event the Supreme Court overturns the landmark case that currently stands. While many have complained the legal framework does not go as far as Obergefell, the bill is said by experts to be solidly written against a future court challenge. Biden’s signature puts the legislation into federal law.

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