MILWAUKEE – The Respect for Marriage Act, which protects same-sex and interracial marriage, is one step closer to being passed in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. This brought out a range of emotions for students at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) regardless of whether it directly impacted them or not.
The House voted on Thursday to protect the bill. Now it just needs to be signed by President Joe Biden to become law.
The bill doesn’t force all states to legalize same-sex marriage but it requires states to federally recognize same-sex marriages conducted in other states.
To hear reactions from people being directly impacted by this decision, the WTMJ news team travelled to the UWM campus and spoke with a group of students.
“As someone with lots of LGBTQ friends, and I’m also bisexual, it just means I can do what I want and I want equal freedoms compared to other people,” a UWM student said.
That student wasn’t alone in their feeling of relief.
“I’m glad that it’s being protected because I feel like we all should get the same chance on who we want to marry because it’s just not fair if some of us can’t marry who we want,” a UWM undergrad said.
Although not every student identified as being part of the LGBTQ community, it was an emotional day for those who have friends and family members in their lives who will be impacted by the Respect for Marriage Act.
“It would really break my heart if they didn’t get to marry who they wanted to because I care about them,” another UWM student says.
Some of that emotion translated into fear with some people considering what it would be like for them to experience life without the protections afforded to same-sex and interracial couples through this new legislation.
“I feel like they would be scared if that wasn’t protected,” a UWM colleague said.
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