President Joe Biden signed a bill that makes marriage between gay and lesbians legal across the nation on Tuesday. He described it as an important victory for liberty in America.
“There is nothing more decent, more dignified, more American about what we are doing here today,” Biden made clear in his remarks in the White House before the signing.
The White House pulled out all the stops to make the event that included a host of performers, four speakers, as well as remarks by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and Vice President Kamala Harris. A large number of supporters and Democrats applauded throughout the celebration. The event was an hour and forty-five minutes in length, and featured the performances of singers Cyndi Lauper and Sam Smith.
“This shouldn't be about being conservative or liberal, red or blue, no this is about realizing the promise of the Declaration of Independence, a promise rooted in sacred and secular beliefs,” Biden stated.
While he hailed the moment as a significant win, Biden warned that bigotry against gays was the issue.
“When a person can be married in the morning and thrown out of a restaurant for being gay in the afternoon, this is still wrong,” he added.
In Biden's remarks, he made reference to his comments from 2015 during his time as vice-president on Meet the Press that famously outed President Obama as being in favor of of gay marriage.
“Marriage is a very simple idea. Who are you most passionate about?” he said.
He jokingly said “I got in trouble” with Obama's aides because they jumped ahead of Obama's announcement.
However, Biden took the occasion to make an opportunity to promise to fight for the rights of transgenders.
“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,” he stated. “We have to protect these children.”
Harris utilized her speech to commemorate this moment in the battle for making abortion legal in the federal government.
“For LGBTQI+ and interracial couples, this is a victory and part of a larger fight, the Dobbs' decision reminds us that fundamental rights are interconnected, including the right to marry who you love, the right to access contraception, and the right to decisions about your own body,” she explained.
Following the ceremony, Biden made his signature on the bill, and he presented vice president Harris the pen while activists applauded.