SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — With the bipartisan Respect for Marriage Act signed into law, many LGBTQ individuals across the United States honored the signing, including here in Illinois.
President Biden signed the bill into law on the White House lawn on Tuesday, inviting more than 2,000 LGBTQ guests to the ceremony. Several Republicans also voted for the law, as it also protects religious liberties for churches and other organizations.
The law ensures federal rights for same-sex couples. Any same-sex couple who gets married in Illinois or a different state that allows same-sex marriage will have their marriage be valid in all 50 states.
“For the purposes of any Federal law, rule, or regulation in which marital status is a factor, an individual shall be considered married if that individual’s marriage is between 2 individuals and is valid in the State where the marriage was entered,” the law reads.
The law also protects rights for interracial marriages, barring discrimination related to a marriage based on race, national origin or ethnicity.
Illinois state representative Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) attended the bill signing ceremony. She said the new law has relieved a lot of her fears.
“As someone whose marriage was performed in Wyoming, I’ve been worried.” Cassidy said. “My questions were things like, Do I need to remarry so I have an Illinois marriage license? Do we need to create law to protect folks whose marriages might become invalidated in other states? This gives that level of comfort and safety that that families deserve.”
The Respect for Marriage Act was largely looked upon by Democratic lawmakers as a response to the Supreme Court overturning federal abortion rights in June. Obergefell v. Hodges, a 2015 Supreme Court decision allowing same-sex couples to marry in all 50 states, has also come under fire this summer by Justice Clarence Thomas.
Cassidy said the Illinois General Assembly is ready to prepare to respond if the Supreme Court
“As we see what plays out with the Court, and what possible splatter effects of any upcoming decisions might have in terms of how we need to make sure protections are solidified, we’re prepared to do that,” she said.