President Joe Biden signed the Respect for Marriage Act Tuesday, which officially enshrines certain protections for same-sex marriages into federal law.
In attendance at the event on the South Lawn of the White House were members of the President’s cabinet, numerous lawmakers including outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and LGBTQ activists, including nonbinary drag queen Marti Gould Cummings.
“Today, I sign the Respect for Marriage Act into law, deciding whether to marry, who to marry is one of the most profound decisions a person can make,” Biden said from the White House south lawn.
“For most of our nation’s history, we denied interracial couples and same-sex couples from these protections. We failed. We failed to treat them with equal dignity and respect. And now law requires interracial marriage. And same-sex marriage must be recognized as legal in every state in the nation,” Biden said.
The Respect for Marriage act won approval in the House of Representatives with a 258-169 vote, after the Senate passed it, 61-36.
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During his speech Biden also took aim at Republican-lead states that limit transition surgeries for minors.
“We need to challenge the hundreds of callous, cynical laws introduced in the states targeting transgender children, terrifying families and criminalizing doctors who give children the care they need,” Biden said.
The president and first lady also invited to the ceremony “members of the LGBTQIA+ community, advocates, and allies” including drag queens Cummings and Brita Filter.
Fox News Digital previously reported that the White House had invited Cummings, a nonbinary drag queen that has repeatedly attacked police online.
“[Police Benevolent Association of the City of New York] are scared whiny and weak,” Cummings said in a June 2020 tweet. “The people will win #DefundPolice.”
“F— the police,” Cummings tweeted on Aug. 24, 2020.
Following the tweet and reports related to previous posts, Cummings locked multiple social media accounts from public view.
“To be a non binary drag artist invited to the White House is something I never imagined would happen,” Cummings tweeted after being invited by the president to attend the ceremony. “Thank you President & Dr. Biden for inviting me to this historic bill signing. Grateful doesn’t begin to express the emotions I feel.”
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“Folks, racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, transphobia, they’re all connected. But the antidote to hate is love. This law and the love defense strike a blow against hate in all its forms,” Biden said Tuesday.
Conservatives reacted to the President’s bill signing saying Biden was “virtue-signaling.”
Ryan Bangert of Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative law firm that has opposed the bill, said in a statement “the president chose virtue-signaling over protecting millions of Americans, churches, and faith-based organizations that spoke out for months about the undeniable harms of this unnecessary bill.”
“This law is a solution in search of a problem that provides no additional protection or benefits to same-sex couples,” Bangert continued.
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Some progressives have also criticized the bill before its signing, saying it doesn’t do enough to protect same-sex couples.
Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart, who married his husband in 2017, said in a Washington Post column that he supports the bill but admitted that the more closely he looks at it, “the more my joy diminishes.”
Fox News’ Thomas Catenacci contributed to this report.