District of Columbia Council votes to recognize gay and lesbian couples’ out-of-state marriages
April 7, 2009
WHAT A GREAT DAY: And now there's this good news for local Washington, DC residents (Washington Post):
The D.C. Council has voted to recognize gay marriages performed in other states on the same day that Vermont became the fourth state to legalize same-sex unions. Domestic partnerships already are legal in the nation's capital, and gay couples married in other states are recognized as domestic partners when they move the city. But today's legislation, billed as an important milestone in gay rights, explicitly recognizes them as married couples. The initial vote was 12-0. The unanimous vote sets the stage for future debate on legalizing gay marriage in the District -- and a clash with Congress, which approves the city's laws under Home Rule. The council is expected to take a final vote on the legislation next month.
The D.C. Council took initial votes on two bills: one that recognizes marriages by lesbian and gay couples entered into outside D.C. as marriages in D.C. and another that recognizes civil unions or broad domestic partnerships entered into outside D.C. as domestic partnerships in D.C. The Council voted 12-0 in favor of each bill (one of the 13 members did not vote). Final votes by the Council are expected on May 5. Mayor Adrian Fenty is expected to sign the bills, which would then be sent to Congress for a 30-legislative-day review period, during which time Congress could:
- (a) vote to reject the bills and prevent them from becoming law (which would require approval by the President);
- (b) forbid federal spending and/or DC spending from being used to implement the bills or
- (c) allow the bills to become law.
Statement from HRC President Joe Solmonese:
The Council’s action is another positive step toward equality, coming on the same day as the Vermont legislature’s historic vote. We look forward to the final Council votes, and urge Mayor Fenty to sign this common-sense legislation. We also hope that Congress will respect the Council’s votes and will respect the District of Columbia’s choice to provide equal recognition for couples who have legally entered into relationships in other jurisdictions.
May 18, 2013