Gay marriage bill signed into law

On Tuesday, President Joe Biden signed landmark gay marriage legislation into law.

“This law and the love it defends strike a blow against hate in all its forms,” Biden said on the South Lawn of the White House. “And that’s why this law matters to every single American.”

The new law is intended to safeguard gay marriages if the U.S. Supreme Court ever reverses Obergefell v. Hodges, its 2015 decision legalizing same-sex unions nationwide, according to a report from the Associated Press. The new law also protects interracial marriages. In 1967, the Supreme Court in Loving v. Virginia struck down laws in 16 states barring interracial marriage.

Lawmakers crafted a compromise that was intended to assuage conservative concerns about religious liberty, such as ensuring churches could still refuse to perform gay marriages.

In addition, states would not be required to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples if the court overturns its 2015 ruling. But they will be required to recognize marriages conducted elsewhere in the country.