The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives passed legislation Thursday to codify same-sex marriage protections into law. With a vote of 258 to 169, opposition came from the majority of GOP lawmakers who argue that the language in the bill infringes on religious freedoms.
House Democrats received some support from a few Republicans for the Respect for Marriage act, which will repeal the Defense of Marriage Act that legally defined marriage between one man and one woman and allowed some states to refuse recognition of same-sex marriages in other states.
The bill will now be sent to President Joe Biden for his signature, who has already pledged to sign it into law.
Speaking in the chamber last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the bill would be voted on Tuesday before the end of the year. It was delayed until Thursday.
Despite the bill’s apparent passage, it will not force states to allow same-sex couples to marry under the Supreme Court’s 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision, the Daily Wire reported. However, it allows for any “person acting under color of State law” to fully recognize marriage between two people in another state, and requires the federal government to recognize their marriages as valid.
“LGBTQ Americans and those in interracial marriages deserve to have certainty that they will continue to have their right to equal marriage recognized, no matter where they live,” said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) during a passage of a previous version of the bill.