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February 01
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The U.S. Congress has passed a bill to protect same-sex marriage. The House of Representatives finally approved legislation that would provide federal recognition of same-sex marriages, prompted by concerns that the Supreme Court might overturn its support for legally recognizing such relationships.

It will now be sent to Democratic President Joe Biden for his signature as law. The Respect for Marriage Act, as it is called, received Senate approval last month.

The law has received support from LGBT advocates as well as a number of religious organizations and entities, including the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, although many American religious conservatives still oppose same-sex marriage.

The document would repeal a 1996 U.S. law called the Defense of Marriage Act, which, among other things, denies federal benefits to same-sex couples. The new law prohibits states from rejecting the legality of out-of-state marriages based on sex, race or ethnicity. In 1967, the Supreme Court declared the ban on interracial marriage unconstitutional.

But the legislation does not prohibit states from blocking same-sex or interracial marriages if the Supreme Court allows them to do so.

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