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'Today's a good day...' US President Biden signs same-sex marriage bill into law

President Joe Biden has signed legislation that protects same-sex and interracial marriage in the United States. The new law officially voids the Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as between a man and a woman.

US President Biden signs same-sex marriage bill into law calls it vital step towards equality gcw
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First Published Dec 14, 2022, 9:20 AM IST

US President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed into law a bill granting federal protections to same-sex marriage, with a large crowd of guests gathered at the White House to celebrate the legislative milestone. Biden, who as vice president publicly supported same-sex marriage before the Supreme Court's 2015 ruling made them legal nationwide, hailed the historic measure as a win for human rights.

"America takes a vital step toward equality, for liberty and justice, not just for some, but for everyone," he said during the signing ceremony Tuesday afternoon.

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After the US Supreme Court -- now significantly more conservative -- overturned longstanding abortion rights last June, lawmakers from the left and right came together to prevent any subsequent move to curb same-sex marriage rights.

Last week's ultimate passage of the bill by Congress was a rare instance of cooperation in the bitterly divided nation's capital. On the grounds of the White House, Biden gathered with supporters and plaintiffs in marriage equality lawsuits from all around the nation, as well as a group of Republican and Democratic senators.

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Hundreds of thousands of same-sex couples have married since the Supreme Court's 2015 decision legalizing the unions throughout the United States.

Recent decades have seen a sharp increase in public acceptability, with surveys currently indicating that a sizable majority of Americans approve same-sex unions.
In addition to protecting interracial couples by forcing states to recognise lawful marriages without regard to "sex, race, ethnicity, or national origin," it repeals prior laws that defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

In the House of Representatives, 39 Republicans joined a united Democratic majority in supporting the bill, while 169 Republicans voted against. It was previously adopted in the evenly split Senate by 61 votes to 36.

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