A handful of Coloradans joined President Joe Biden at the White House for the signing of federal legislation that codifies same-sex marriage.
Among them was state Rep. Leslie Herod, D-Denver,, who earlier tweeted out a picture of the invitation she got from the White House.
Matthew Haynes, a co-owner of Club Q, where five died and 17 others wounded in a shooting last month, also attended, according to 9News, which reported that two survivors of the shooting and Mardi Moore, executive director of Out Boulder, were also present.
The Biden administration also featured Coloradans in celebrating the bill's signing. Notably, the White House released a video on Tuesday morning that featured photos of couples celebrating their marriages.
One of the photos is that of former state Sen. Jessie Ulibarri, D-Westminster, when he married Louis Trujillo in June, 2014.
If there is one message that breaks through from today, it's that this law – and the love it defends – strikes a blow against hate in all its forms.Celebrate with us as I sign the historic Respect for Marriage Act into law. pic.twitter.com/0NFNNCtVVK— President Biden (@POTUS) December 13, 2022
Ulibarri, who now lives in Pennsylvania and was the first "out" lawmaker to marry in Colorado, said he will be celebrating the signing "from afar."
He and Trujillo were among three dozen same sex couples who were legally married in June 2014 after Boulder County Clerk and Recorder Hillary Hall announced her office would issue marriage licenses to same sex couples. Hall's announcement came in the wake of a Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals decision to strike down a ban on same sex marriages from Utah.
Gov. Jared Polis, the nation's first openly gay governor, said in a statement Tuesday that the bottom line is people "want the government out of their bedrooms."
"The focus of leaders should be on protecting and expanding the freedoms of Americans and helping save them money," he said. "Our country and state have seen how fragile our freedoms can be when under attack by out-of-touch groups or individuals, so we welcome this federal action and thank the members of Congress, many of which I served with, for their bold, pro-freedom actions."
Polis was a sponsor of several similar bills during his time in Congress, including the 2015 version of the Respect for Marriage Act.
Polis and his long-time partner, Marlon Reis, married last year.
Among those who celebrated the federal law's signing were singers Cyndi Lauper, a long-time advocate for gay rights who sang her hit "True Colors," and Sam Smith, who belted out "Stay With Me."
Thousands gathered on the South Lawn of the White House for the signing ceremony.
Herod, in a statement after the ceremony, said she is honored to witness the law's signing.
"As both a Black woman and a member of the LGBTQ+ community, it’s due time that the right to marry who we want is enshrined in law and protected from those intent on making people like me second-class citizens," she said.
One Colorado Executive Director Nadine Bridges and Communications Director Gillian Ford were also on hand for the signing.
The Respect for Marriage Act repeals the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which forbade the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages.
Just before signing the act, Biden said it "restores a measure of security to millions of marriages and families."
"Love is love, right is right, justice is justice," he said. "Congress is acting because of an extreme Supreme Court has stripped away the rights afforded to millions of Americans that existed for half a century."
Biden cited Justice Clarence Thomas, who earlier argued that the Supreme Court “should reconsider” past rulings on contraception access and same-sex marriage.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect additional attendees and properly identify the co-owner of Club Q.