Same-sex couples are closer to the right to marry as DC City Council passes marriage bill; if Congress does not intervene, same-sex couples can marry soon.
On Tuesday, December 15, the District of Columbia City Council voted in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage in the District.
“Our capital city is embracing the true promise of our Constitution,” says Lambda Legal Executive Director Kevin Cathcart. “Everyone should be treated equally. More Americans are extending support to gay and lesbian couples who want full marriage equality, and this victory in Washington sends a strong message.”
Earlier this year, District of Columbia City Council member David Catania introduced the “Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Amendment Act of 2009” — a bill that would give same-sex couples the right to marry in the district. The bill’s provisions also include exempting church officials from required participation in same-sex wedding ceremonies.
Because the district is not a state, Congress has 30 session days (likely about two calendar months) to enact a joint resolution to disapprove the new law if it wishes to do so; President Obama would have to sign or veto that resolution. If Congress takes no action, the Council’s vote stands and will take effect soon after.