Singer Cyndi Lauper delivered a passionate speech during The White House’s press briefing on December 13th, following the signing of The Respect For Marriage Act.
The Respect For Marriage Act was signed into law by President Joe Biden on Tuesday.
Lauper, 69, has been a long-time advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community. The “She Bop” singer is the founder of the True Colors Fund, a non-profit with a mission to increase housing for misplaced LGBTQIA+ youth. Lauper refuses to remain idle in the event of any wrongdoing against the community.
When she discussed her devoted activism with Billboard in an interview five years ago, Lauper said, “I’ve been involved because if it’s your friends and family, how long are you supposed to stand by and watch their civil rights be stripped? I do what I always do. If you’re Italian, you always do that. You stand up for your own. You don’t keep your mouth shut; you stand up. You tell your story and you allow other people to tell their stories.”
What Does The Respect For Marriage Act Protect?
The Respect For Marriage Act provides federal protection for same-sex and interracial marriages in the United States. The federal government, as well as every state in the US, must recognize all same-sex and interracial marriages performed prior to the ‘RFMA’ being signed into law and in the future in those states where same-sex and interracial marriage is still legal in the event that the Supreme Court overturns the constitutional rights for both same-sex and interracial marriage. (via ABC News)
Presently, all states are required to issue marriage licenses for both same-sex and interracial couples. The former was legalized in 2015, following the Obergfell v. Hodges ruling, and the latter in 1967’s Loving v. Virginia.
In the event of the United States Supreme Court overturning these protections, same-sex and interracial couples who are legally married currently “cannot be denied the civil benefits of their unions in any state,” ABC News also reported.
Religious groups who are opposed to either form of marriage do not have to “provide goods or services to the marriages they object to, and their tax-exempt status cannot be rescinded for refusing to perform or respect a marriage,” according to the Respect For Marriage Act.
States can also still attempt to challenge either ruling if they wish; the RFMA does not prohibit this.
President Biden commemorated the signing with a speech.
“Today, I sign the Respect For Marriage Act into law,” the President began, “Deciding whether to marry, who to marry, is one of the most profound decisions a person can make. And as I’ve said before and as some of you may remember, on a certain TV show 10 years ago, I got into trouble. Marriage, I mean this with all my heart, is a simple proposition: who do you love, and will you be loyal to that person you love? It’s not more complicated than that,” Biden concluded. The interview to which Biden was referring, was with “Meet The Press,” wherein the then-vice president vocally supported same-sex marriage three years before the Obergfell v. Hodges ruling. (per CBS News)
What Are The Details Surrounding Lauper’s Press Briefing Speech?
Singer Cyndi Lauper joins the White House press briefing to celebrate President Biden signing the Respect For Marriage Act.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) December 13, 2022
Lauper took the podium during the White House’s Press Briefing before RFMA’s passing and delivered a poignant speech.
“I just want to tell ya I came here because I wanted to say ‘thank you’ to President Biden, speaker Pelosi, Vice President Harris, and all of the advocates and his team for, 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 and because we’re allowed to love who we love which sounds odd to say, but Americans can now love who we love. Bless Joe Biden and all [of] the people that worked on this for allowing people not to worry, and their children not to worry about their future,” Lauper said.
She also performed her 1986 hit “True Colors” after the bill was signed into law.
Lauper lovingly discussed “True Colors” and its legacy as a frequently-covered LGBTQIA+ anthem with Billboard, saying, “I always think a song with that type of sentiment should not be overdone. You don’t need to give a song with a lot of sentiment MORE sentiment… It’s a wonderful song. It’s a healing song. However the heck you heal from a song is how you should approach it, you know?”