The House passed a bill on Tuesday that seeks to revise federal law and clarify that women and LGBTQ Americans can be president of the United States.
The legislation, dubbed the 21st Century President Act, passed by voice vote. It also passed the House by voice vote in the last Congress.
The bill specifically takes issue with a portion of U. S. code that pertains to threats against presidents, former presidents and certain other individuals. As currently written, the statute defines “immediate family” as “the wife of a former President during his lifetime, the widow of a former President until her death or remarriage, and minor children of a former President until they reach sixteen years of age.”
But under the legislation that passed on Tuesday, that language would change to “the spouse of a former President during a former President’s lifetime, the surviving spouse of a former President until the surviving 10 spouse’s death or remarriage.”
While the U. S. has never had a female president, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton became the first woman to lead a major-party ticket in 2016.
The U. S. has also never had an LGBTQ president. In 2020, however, former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg was a popular candidate in the Democratic primary, winning the coveted Iowa caucuses before dropping out of the race. Buttigieg is now serving as Transportation secretary.
The U. S. did break barriers last year when former Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) became the first female vice president and her husband, Doug Emhoff, became the first second gentleman of the United States.
During remarks on the House floor Tuesday, Rep. David Cicilline (D-R. I.) said the language in the federal code “disregards the fact that a president may be female and the president’s spouse may not… (Read more)