Same-sex marriage is now protected in the United States. Joe Biden signed on Tuesday in the White House, in front of thousands of guests and in a festive atmosphere, a text that protects the union of people of the same sex throughout the United States.
In enacting this law, the President hailed “a decisive step toward equality, liberty, and justice, not only for the few, but for all”. It was a special moment for Joe Biden, who made an impression in 2012 by publicly saying he favored marriage for all while serving as Barack Obama’s vice president. It was also one for Vice President Kamala Harris and patron of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, who was also present, also for a long time engaged in the defense of the rights of LGBT+ people.
“Love is love”
The law “is a blow against hate in all its forms,” observed the 80-year-old Democratic president, his favorite sunglasses on his nose, in the cold and the sun. “It’s one thing when the Supreme Court rules, it’s another thing when the elected representatives of the people vote in Congress to say loud and clear: love is love,” he said to cheers from a crowd of 5,300 people. The phrase “Love is love” has become an emblematic slogan in the fight for same-sex marriage.
The President then sat down to sign the text. When he handed his pen, as a sign of thanks, to Kamala Harris, a pipe of Lady Gaga, Born that way (“Born That Way”), was played at full volume as the White House lit up in rainbow colors. The ceremony, which was resolutely festive, included a performance by Cindy Lauper for her song True colorswith the testimony of two lesbians, Gina and Heidi Nortonsmith, who led a ground-breaking battle in the courts to have their union and their family recognized.
Of course, the moment was also political: Joe Biden hugged Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, the most openly gay prime minister ever confirmed by the US Senate, and chatted with bisexual Senator Kyrsten Sinema – who just slammed the door on the Democratic Party.
Same-sex unions have been guaranteed by the U.S. Supreme Court since 2015. But after the high court’s historic flip-flop on abortion in June, many progressives fear that right could be unraveled as well. The law, passed Tuesday, repeals previous laws defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman. It also prohibits civil registrars from discriminating against couples “on the basis of their sex, race, ethnicity or origin”. It was passed in Congress by all elected Democrats and 39 Republicans, while 169 members of the conservative party opposed it.