Los Angeles couple invited to White House to witness signing of Respect for Marriage Act

Lawrence and Michael Broughton are getting a front row seat to history.

ByTim Pulliam KABC logo
Tuesday, December 13, 2022
Couple invited to DC to witness signing of Respect for Marriage Act
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The Respect for Marriage Bill, recently approved by Congress, mandates individual states recognize marriages of same-sex couples and interracial couples that were lawfully performed in another state.

WASHINGTON -- Today, President Joe Biden signed the Respect for Marriage Act into law.

We spoke exclusively with Lawrence and Michael Broughton from Los Angeles, just before going to the White House to witness the historic moment.

"Now we are here," exclaimed Lawrence. Michael added, "It's very surreal."

Lawrence continued, "We are a part of the history making process. It's exciting!" Michael agreed, "This is very exciting."

We chatted with Lawrence and Michael via Zoom from their Washington D.C. hotel.

The couple from Lake Balboa thought they would celebrate the signing of the Respect for Marriage Act from home today, until they received a call from a gay rights advocate connected to the White House, inviting them as guests. Both are now getting a front row seat to history.

"We're going to have rainbow flags and all," said Lawrence.

Lawrence and Michael Broughton pose with Vice President Kamala Harris at the White House on Tuesday.
PHOTO: Lawrence and Michael Broughton

It's a sign of progress for Lawrence, who served in the military under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

"For 24 years I had to hide who I am for three deployments to the Middle East. I had to hide who I was," Lawrence said about his time in the military.

"To actually see this act come into fruition as a law...if we have to move to Arkansas or Minnesota or Idaho or Montana, we won't have to worry about people saying our marriage doesn't matter," Lawrence continued.

The Respect for Marriage Bill, recently approved by Congress, mandates individual states recognize marriages of same-sex couples and interracial couples that were lawfully performed in another state.

Supporters say it further codifies same-sex marriage following the Supreme Court's 2015 decision in "Obergefell v. Hodges," which found that the 14th Amendment requires all states to license same-sex marriages.

Lawrence and Michael have been together for nearly 20 years, and married five years ago in Las Vegas.

"This further validated our love and so many other couples within the LGBTQIA+ spectrum," said Michael. "We're going to always be fighting for sure but this is a step in the right direction."

Lawrence and Michael Broughton celebrate the signing of the Respect for Marriage Act at the White House.
PHOTO: Lawrence and Michael Broughton

Today, the couple is shining a light on same sex couples of color through social media.

In 2017, they launched Black Gay Weddings. Their Black Gay Weddings Instagram page boasts more than 60,000 followers.

"They are getting to see how they met and one of the things we hear from our followers is we are giving them hope because they are getting to see what is possible," said Michael.

Michael and Lawrence are launching a Black Gay Weddings magazine on January 7 which will be available in digital and print.