President Joe Biden invited drag queen Marti G. Cummings to attend the signing of the Respect for Marriage Act at the White House.
Both the House of Representatives and the Senate have greenlit the legislation, which enshrines same-sex marriage protections into federal law in accordance with the Supreme Court’s opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges. Democratic lawmakers recruited 39 Republicans in the lower chamber and 10 in the upper chamber to support the bill, which is expected to be signed into law on Tuesday.
Cummings shared a screenshot of the White House invitation on social media and expressed thankfulness toward the Biden administration.
“To be a non-binary drag artist invited to the White House is something I never imagined would happen,” the drag queen said. “Grateful doesn’t begin to express the emotions I feel.”
Cummings recently mounted an unsuccessful campaign for the New York City Council, remarking in the magazine Out that he desires to “not only be a drag queen who’s funny, silly, and entertaining, but somebody who took that platform and used it for something bigger.”
Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) remarked in a statement that he voted against a motion to advance the bill because its “religious liberty protections” were “severely anemic and largely illusory.” The lawmaker had expressed concern that religious individuals and organizations could be exposed to litigation and the loss of nonprofit status under the new law.
Biden nevertheless praised the final passage of the Respect for Marriage Act, saying that “millions of marriages and families” have been put at ease following the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned Roe v. Wade and other previous opinions purporting a constitutional right to abortion.
“On this day, Jill and I are thinking of the courageous couples and fiercely committed advocates who have fought for decades to secure nationwide marriage equality at the Supreme Court and in Congress,” he said. “While we are one step closer on our long journey to build a more perfect union, we must never stop fighting for full equality for LGBTQI+ Americans and all Americans.”
Cummings also conducts activism on behalf of the “queer youth population” in New York City, according to Out. “I also think we need young people at the table. We need new, fresh voices,” Cummings continued. “We have a lot of queer elected officials now, but we need really, really progressive queer candidates. We need candidates who are going to take us to that next level. New York politics for a long time has been dynasty politics, and we should bring some new people to the table because politics should be open to everybody.”
Biden recently made waves by inviting Dylan Mulvaney, a biological man who identifies as a transgender woman, to the White House to discuss transgender issues.