House of Representatives passes same-sex, interracial marriage protection act


James Hoeck

University students and local community members gather at the Champaign-Urbana Pride Fest hosted on Oct. 1. On Thursday, Congress passed a bill to protect same-sex and interracial marriages.

By Lika Lezhava, Assistant News Editor

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Respect for Marriage Act, which is a bill that protects and federally recognizes same-sex marriages and interracial marriages on Dec. 8. The bill is now on its way to President Biden’s desk to be signed into law. 

The final House vote was 258-169. 169 Republicans voted against the bill, with 39 Republicans voting in favor and one voting “present.”

The entirety of the Democrats voted in favor of the bill as well.

The Respect for Marriage Act was approved in the Senate last month with a vote of 61-36. 

The bill’s passing came after the possibility of the Supreme Court overturning the 2015 case Obergefell v. Hodges, which legalized same-sex marriage. The new measure would repeal a 1996 law called the Defense for Marriage Act, which denied federal benefits to same-sex couples. 

When addressing the House in a speech, Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, said, “Today we stand against an urgent threat, and we succeeded.”


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