WASHINGTON: US President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed legislation to safeguard marriage equality after Congress approved federal protections for same-sex marriage.
"Today is a good day. Today, America takes another step toward equality. Toward liberty and justice not just for some, but for all. Because today, I sign the Respect for Marriage Act into law," Biden tweeted.
The new US law enshrines federal protections for same-sex couples, requiring that the federal government and all states recognize marriages if the couple was married in a state where the union was legal, The Hill reported. Biden said the road for the moment has been long but those who believe in equality and justice.
"Many of you standing on the South Lawn here. So many of you put your relationships on the line, your jobs on the line, your lives on the line to fight for the law I'm about to sign," he was quoted as saying by The Hill newspaper.
On Thursday, the US House approved legislation to protect same-sex and interracial marriage. The House vote was 258 to 169 with 39 Republicans joining Democrats in supporting the legislation, CNN reported.
The House's vote for 'Respect for Marriage Act', comes after the Senate passed the same bill last week by a vote of 61-36.
In a White House statement, Joe Biden said that the House's bipartisan passage of the bill by a significant margin will give peace of mind to LGBTQI+ and interracial couples.
"The House's bipartisan passage of the Respect for Marriage Act by a significant margin will give peace of mind to millions of LGBTQI+ and interracial couples who are now guaranteed the rights and protections to which they and their children are entitled," Biden said.
Highlighting the efforts of couples and advocates who fought for marriage equality, Biden lauded the couples and fiercely committed advocates, who have fought for decades to secure nationwide marriage equality at the Supreme Court and in Congress.