The White House was illuminated in rainbow colors Tuesday after President Biden signed the Respect for Marriage Act into law.
The law, which protects same-sex and interracial marriages, was codified during a signing ceremony on the south lawn with more than 2,000 attendees, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer and Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, who is gay.
Rainbow lights were then projected onto the south portico of the White House. Former President Barack Obama had the northern side of the White House illuminated in rainbow colors following the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges in June 2015 that legalized same-sex marriage.
The law was passed with bipartisan support, with 39 Republicans in the House and 12 in the Senate supporting the bill. The legislation came in response to comments made by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas after Roe v. Wade was overturned, where he suggested the possibility of revisiting Obergefell’s legal standing.
“It’s one thing for the Supreme Court to rule on a case, but it’s another thing entirely for elected representatives of the people to take a vote on the floor of the United States Congress and say loudly and clearly: Love is love. Right is right. Justice is justice,” Mr. Biden said at the ceremony in direct rebuke of Justice Thomas’ comments. “These things are fundamental things that America thinks matter.”
Mr. Biden later said “this law, and the love it defends, strike a blow against hate in all its forms. And that’s why this law matters to every single American, no matter who you are or who you love.”
Outside of the politicians, singers such as Sam Smith and Cyndi Lauper were also in attendance for the ceremony.