Joe Biden signed the law protecting same-sex marriages and declared that “the law and the love it defends strike a blow against hate in all its forms”.
The measure requires all states to recognize same-sex marriages.
It comes as a relief to hundreds of thousands of couples who married after the 2015 Supreme Court decision legalizing those marriages and worry about what would happen if the ruling were overturned.
The president of the United States He invited thousands to celebrate in the White House on Tuesday as he signed the law, including politicians from both parties.
He was also joined by First Lady Jill Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff.
Longtime gay rights advocate, singer Cyndi Lauper, performed at the event.
“For once, our families, mine and a lot of my friends — and people you know, sometimes your neighbors — we can rest easy tonight, because our families are validated,” the singer said in the conference room of the White House before the ceremony.
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he would wear the same purple tie to the ceremony that he wore to his daughter’s wedding. His daughter and his wife are expecting their first child next spring.
“Thanks to the dogged work of many of my colleagues, my grandson will live in a world that respects and honors their mothers’ marriage,” she said.
The new law aims to safeguard gay marriages if the US Supreme Court ever overturns Obergefell v. Hodges, its 2015 decision legalizing same-sex unions nationwide.
It will also protect interracial marriages after the Supreme Court in Loving v Virginia struck down laws in 16 states that banned interracial marriage in 1967.
In a statement last week, Biden said, “Congress has restored a measure of security for millions of marriages and families.
“They have also provided hope and dignity to millions of young people across the country who can grow up knowing their government will recognize and respect the families they build.”
Tuesday’s signing marks the culmination of a months-long bipartisan effort sparked by the Supreme Court’s decision in June to overturn Roe v Wade, the 1973 ruling that made abortion available across the country.
It also points to another chapter in Biden’s gay rights legacy, as he has pushed to expand LGBT+ rights since taking office.
During a television interview in 2012, when she was vice president, she memorably endorsed same-sex unions.
Days later, President Barack Obama announced that he is also a supporter of gay marriage.
When he became president, he reversed efforts by Donald Trump to strip transgender people of discrimination protections.
Attendees of Tuesday’s ceremony received a card commemorating the president’s comments from his 2012 interview.
“What it is about is a simple proposition: who do you love?” he said on NBC’s Meet The Press a decade ago.
“Who do you love and will you be faithful to the one you love? And that’s what people are discovering is what all marriages are about at the root.”