Joe Biden signed legislation protecting same-sex marriage and declaring that “the law and the love it defends combat hatred in all its forms.”
The measure requires all states to recognize same-sex marriage.
Hundreds of thousands of couples who have married since the Supreme Court’s 2015 decision to legalize those marriages have been relieved to fear what would happen if the ruling was overturned.
This America president Thousands were invited to celebrate at the White House on Tuesday as he signed the law, including politicians from both parties.
He was joined by First Lady Jill Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff.
Singer Cyndi Lauper, a longtime gay rights advocate, performed at the event.
“This time, our family, my family and many of my friends — and people you know, sometimes your neighbors — we can rest easy tonight because our family is recognized,” the source said. Singer said in the White House briefing room ahead of the ceremony.
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he would wear the same purple tie to his daughter’s wedding. His daughter and her wife are expecting their first child next spring.
“Thanks to the tireless efforts of many of my colleagues, my grandsons will live in a world that respects and honors their mother’s marriage,” he said.
The new law aims to protect same-sex marriage if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Obergefell v. Hodges, the court’s 2015 decision to legalize same-sex unions nationwide.
It would also protect interracial marriage after the Supreme Court struck down 16 state laws banning interracial marriage in Loving v Virginia in 1967.
In a statement last week, Mr Biden said: “Congress has restored a measure of safety to millions of marriages and families.
“They also offer hope and dignity to the millions of young people in this country who grow up knowing their government will recognize and honor the families they have created.”
Tuesday’s signing marks the culmination of months of bipartisan efforts triggered by the Supreme Court’s decision in June to overturn Roe v Wade – the 1973 ruling that made abortion available nationwide.
It also points to another chapter in Mr Biden’s legacy on gay rights, as he has pushed to expand LGBT+ rights since taking office.
In a television interview as vice president in 2012, he impressively supported same-sex unions.
A few days later, President Barack Obama announced that he too was a supporter of same-sex marriage.
When he became president, he reversed Donald Trump’s efforts to strip transgender people of anti-discrimination protections.
Attendees of Tuesday’s ceremony were given a card commemorating the president’s comments in a 2012 interview.
“It’s all about one simple question: Who do you love?” he told NBC’s press conference a decade ago.
“Who do you love, and will you be faithful to the one you love? That’s the root of all marriages that people find.”