Same sex and interracial marriage act passes House, heads to Biden's desk

Thirty-nine House Republicans joined Democrats today to pass a bill giving federal protection to same-sex and interracial marriage, which was passed last week in the Senate. The law now heads to the desk of President Biden, who is eager to sign it.

The legislation — led by Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., the first openly gay person elected to the Senate — would assure that the federal government recognizes marriages that were validly performed and guarantee full benefits "regardless of the couple's sex, race, ethnicity, or national origin." It would not, however, require states to issue marriage licenses contrary to state law. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was present to gavel down the vote and announce the bill's passage. Loud applause broke out on the Democratic side of the chamber, while a few Republicans joined in clapping.

The bill repeals a Clinton-era bill "defending" marriage from homosexuality and requires states to recognize marriages from other states. But it stops short of enshrining the Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell, which forces all states to themselves peform and recognize same-sex marriage—and could be repealed by it in future.

The right-wing backlash against gay and trans rights, however, has only led to greater support for them in the real world: a Gallup tracking poll now finds support for same-sex marriage at 71% nationwide, with "weekly churchgoers" as the "final holdouts of opposition."