Tuesday, April 07, 2009

D.C. Recognizes Same-Sex Couples

It's a growl from the belly of the beast. In our nation's capital, the D.C. City Council voted today to recognize legally solemnized same-sex marriages from other states, as in Massachusetts, Connecticut, probably those from California before Prop. 8, and soon Iowa and Vermont.

Our timid President hasn't looked up from the huge issues to address that shameful monument to inequality, the Defense of Marriage Act. Even though the same town is home to that disgrace, the district council did not shy from fairness and equality.

In a 12 to 0 vote, the council agreed to recognize out-of-district SSMs. Councilors said this was long overdue and a matter of basic fairness. (Hear that, Barack?)

There is a subtext too. D.C. has domestic partnerships and is headed to SSM itself. As the Washington Post article put it:
Council member David A. Catania (I-At Large), who is also gay, predicted it was only a matter of time before the council also takes up a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in the District. "It's no secret that I have been working on legislation that would take us further," he said. "This is the march toward human rights and equality. This is not the march toward special rights. This is the equality march and that march is coming here."
That could be a fun fight. Even worse than the despotic Home Rule machinations of the Massachusetts legislator, the version for the district is severe. City laws must pass Congressional approval.

The council should finish its SSM legislation next month. Let's watch and listen.

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Scott Wells said...

Small style point. It's the D.C. Council, not city council.

And yes, it's good news.

Ryan said...

Hm... How many months do you think it'll be before you can actually get married in DC? I say 15 tops.

Virginia has some of the most draconian anti-gay laws in the country. Hopefully DC will rub off them on this.