SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The U.S. House passed the Respect for Marriage Act. 

“With the passage of this bill, it essentially codifies protections for same-sex marriage, but also interracial marriage.” Dr. Kyler Sherman-Wilkins with the GLO Center said. 

Sherman-Wilkins says many people had been on edge after a historic moment in recent U.S. memory. 

“After the overturning of Roe v Wade, the conversation about whether these same-sex protections or interracial marriage protections were actually protected became a really big question,” Sherman-Wilkins said. “That’s where a lot of energy came to organizing and passing this bill.” 

The bill passed through the Senate last month, with one outgoing Missouri lawmaker voting yes. 

“What’s interesting is I think we have to remember that this bill passed with bipartisan support,” Sherman-Wilkins said. “It’s important to do a shout-out to Senator Roy Blunt… who did vote in support of this particular bill.” 

“We were very pleased to see Senator Roy Blunt take that step and vote yes on this piece of legislation. And it’s really important that we see that the senator is representing the opinions of Missourians.” Aaron Schekorra, with Springfield PFlag says. 

Other Missouri lawmakers, including outgoing House Representative Vicky Hartzler pleaded for many to vote down the bill.  

“I hope and pray that my colleagues will find the courage to join me in opposing this misguided and just dangerous bill,” Hartzler said to Congress. 

As many wait for the President’s signature, Schekorra says he sees the passing as a win for the local community. 

“For many people throughout our community, it really just enshrines those rights. It’s one less thing that we have to continue fighting for because marriage isn’t the end all be all when it comes to LGBTQ equality.”