US house passes bill protecting same-sex, interracial marriages


The United States house of representatives has given final congressional approval to legislation that provides federal recognition of same-sex marriages.


The house voted 258-169 with all of the Democrats voting in favour.


Among the Republicans, 39 voted in favour while 169 voted against and one simply affirmed presence.


The development comes as a measure preempting that the Supreme Court could reverse its support for legal recognition of such relationships.


Meanwhile, the act, called ‘Respect for Marriage’, had scaled through the senate on November 29.


Customarily, the bill would be transferred to Joe Biden, the US president, for assent.


The act would allow the federal government and states to recognise same-sex and interracial marriages as long as they are legal in the states where they are performed.


The legislation would repeal a 1996 US law called the ‘Defense of Marriage Act’ which denies federal benefits to same-sex couples.


It would also bar states from rejecting the validity of out-of-state marriages on the basis of sex, race or ethnicity.

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