Respect for Marriage Act will grant federal protections to same-sex and interracial couples. Thousands are expected to attend the signing ceremony on the White House South Lawn. The act also will repeal the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which allowed states to decline to recognize gay marriages performed in other states. Joe Biden has signed the Respect for Marriage Act into law. It is the last piece of legislation he will sign as House speaker.
In 2012, he declared his unequivocal support of same-sex marriage ahead of then-President Obama. The legislation is personally and politically significant for Biden as well.