WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, applauded the D.C. Council for voting 12 - 1 to recognize marriages by same-sex couples legally entered into in other jurisdictions. Mayor Adrian Fenty is expected to sign the bill shortly it would then be sent to Congress for a 30 legislative day review period.
"This legislation will strengthen families in Washington, D.C. by making clear that same-sex couples married in other jurisdictions are entitled to equal respect and dignity under the law," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. "The District of Columbia Council has determined that it makes sense, and is simply the right thing to do, to recognize marriages by same-sex couples legally entered into outside the District. We thank the Council for taking this common-sense action, and we look forward to Mayor Fenty signing this legislation. We also hope that Congress will respect the District of Columbia's choice to provide equal recognition for couples who have legally married in other jurisdictions."
Washington, D.C. currently provides domestic partnerships for both same-sex and different-sex couples that give access to the rights and responsibilities of marriage under D.C. law. Four states currently recognize marriage for same-sex couples: Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, and Vermont (effective September 1, 2009).
New York recognizes marriages by same-sex couples legally entered into in another jurisdiction. California recognized marriage by same-sex couples between June and November of 2008, before voters approved Proposition 8, which purports to amend the state constitution to prohibit marriage equality. The Proposition 8 vote has been challenged in court a decision by the state supreme court is expected by June.
Legislatures in Maine, New Hampshire and New York are considering legislation that would permit same-sex couples to marry under state law.
Same-sex couples do not receive federal rights and responsibilities anywhere in the United States. To learn more about state by state legislation, visit: www.hrc.org/state-laws.
The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.
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