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"An important and historic step": Local politicians react to U.S. House passing Respect for Marriage Act

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GOP LGBTQ group on same-sex marriage bill
Leader of GOP group for LGBTQ community discusses same-sex marriage bill 07:58

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-nine GOP lawmakers joined all Democrats in supporting the bill.

Mr. Biden pledged to sign the bill "promptly and proudly" once it passed the House.

The Respect for Marriage Act was among the first legislative steps taken by the House in the wake of the Supreme Court's June decision rolling back the constitutional right to an abortion. Concerned by a concurring opinion from Justice Clarence Thomas that urged the court to reconsider other landmark cases, including the 2015 decision recognizing the right to same-sex marriage, Democrats moved swiftly to enshrine marriage equality into federal law. 

The bill repeals the Clinton-era Defense of Marriage Act, which denied federal benefits and recognition to same-sex couples, and it safeguards marriages by requiring that valid marriages are recognized regardless of "sex, race, ethnicity or national origin."

To read more about the bill, click here.

After the bill's passing, local politicians are sharing their reactions. Read those below.


Rep. Angie Craig says no government should dictate what a family looks like

After tweeting about the vote earlier, Rep. Angie Craig released a lengthier statement Thursday afternoon:

"In the United States - the land of the free - no government, and certainly no politician, should be able to dictate what my marriage or family looks like. So today, I voted to pass the Respect for Marriage Act, a bill that repeals DOMA and ensures that same-sex and interracial marriage is recognized in every state no matter what happens in the future from an activist Supreme Court."

By WCCO Staff

Minnesota representatives mark bill's passing

By WCCO Staff

WI Sen. Tammy Baldwin: "This is an important and historic step forward"

Sen. Tammy Baldwin, a Democrat from Wisconsin, joined several other senators nationwide in releasing the following statement:

"We are thrilled that the Respect for Marriage Act passed both the Senate and the House with robust bipartisan support.  This commonsense legislation provides certainty to millions of loving couples in same-sex and interracial marriages, who will continue to enjoy the freedoms, rights, and responsibilities afforded to all other marriages.  At the same time, our legislation fully respects and protects religious liberty and diverse beliefs about marriage. This is an important and historic step forward in ensuring dignity and respect for all Americans."  

By WCCO Staff
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