5 reactions to Biden signing gay marriage bill: ‘Landmark moment’ or ‘dark day’?

President Joe Biden signs the Respect for Marriage Act on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 13, 2022. The U.S. Congress, on Dec. 8, 2022, passed the landmark legislation to protect same-sex marriage under federal law. | Brendan SMIALOWSKI/AFP

President Joe Biden signed the so-called Respect for Marriage Act into law on Tuesday, codifying the legalization of same-sex marriage that occurred in the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decision Obergefell v. Hodges.

The act passed both houses of Congress with bipartisan support and officially repeals the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act signed into law by President Bill Clinton, which banned the federal recognition of same-sex marriage and defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

The drive to pass the legislation came partly in response to the Supreme Court overturning its 1973 Roe v. Wade abortion decision in June, with many believing that the Obergefell decision could eventually be overturned.

The following pages highlight five reactions to Biden's signing of the Respect for Marriage Act, ranging from those who believe the signing was a historic victory to critics who see it as a threat to religious freedom. 

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