Today, President Biden signed into law the Respect for Marriage Act. The idea for the bill was to codify same-sex marriage in order to protect it from the right-wing Supreme Court which may inevitably strike down the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision. But if you look at the text of the bill it doesn’t actually do that. The Respect for Marriage Act will require states to recognize same-sex marriages that were entered into in other states. However, it does not require states to issue their own same-sex marriage licenses. This means that if the Obergefell decision was overturned, red states would have the power to deny issuing their own same-sex couples’ marriage licenses. Certainly, the legislation offers some protection and it’s better than nothing, but this is not exactly the codifying of equal marriage that it’s being sold as.
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