Hayley Kiyoko, our very own Lesbian Jesus, shared a heartfelt message of hope after attending the historic signing of the Respect For Marriage Act. While Kiyoko expressed joy at how far society has come within her lifetime, she warned her fans and followers that the queer community remains under threat of violence.
Kiyoko rose to prominence first as an actor, appearing as Velma in the 2010 Scooby Doo! film series. Following this, she earned fame as a singer for her queer hit single “Girls Like Girls.” As a vocal supporter of LGBTQ+ rights throughout her career, Kiyoko was invited to attend the signing event with her girlfriend Becca Tilley.
“I wish I could tell my younger self – a closeted biracial girl searching for acceptance – that one day I could live authentically and choose to legally marry whomever I love regardless of their race or sexual orientation,” Kiyoko wrote on Instagram. “The Respect for Marriage Act secures the safety of so many unions around the country, and it was an honor to be there today to witness history.
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“Today was an excellent step towards progress. At the same time, my LGBTQIA+ community is still very much under attack both abroad and at home. I look forward to the next steps we will take together to ensure continued justice for the entire queer community.”
Tilley added in the comments, “I love you, I was so proud to be there with you today!”
The Respect for Marriage Act was signed by President Biden into law on Tuesday, after a bipartisan majority in both the House and the Senate approved the bill. The success of this bill, which mostly protects same sex and interracial marriages from Supreme Court interference, represents a dramatic shift in the American public consciousness. In 1996, a bipartisan majority (including then senator Joe Biden) voted to pass the Defense of Marriage Act, banning same sex marriage at the federal level.
“The road to this moment has been long, but those who believe in equality and justice – you never gave up,” said Biden ahead of signing The Respect for Marriage Act (and finally repealing DOMA).
The event was attended by other LGBTQ+ celebrities and advocates. Sam Smith, who performed “Stay With Me” on the White House lawn, said, “We’ve had a pretty special day, we just sang at the White House today which was insane and I just want to give a shoutout to President Biden and everyone involved.”
Cindy Lauper performed queer classic “True Colors.” “For once, our families, mine and a lot of my friends, people you know, sometimes your neighbors, we can rest easy tonight because our families are validated,” Lauper said. “Because now we are allowed to love who we love – which sounds odd to say, but Americans can now love who we love.”