Tuesday, October 6, 2009

D.C. on the Verge of Marriage Equality

From the NY Times:

Washington -- City Council members introduced legislation Tuesday to allow same-sex marriage here. If it passes, as expected, Washington would be the first city below the Mason-Dixon line to allow such unions. The city’s bill is expected to become law by December.


This is interesting timing for a bill of this nature. According to the article, after Mayor Fenty signs it Congress would have 30 days to provide a joint resolution that would block the bill.
With elections coming up, would DC lawmakers want to endorse such a controversial bill? If they do shoot it down, would they follow it with a ban? California's Prop 8 was indeed backlash from the initial endorsement of same sex unions.

Many DC area clergy have expressed outrage and pushed for lawmakers to allow the people to vote, rather than leave it up to legislation. Currently DC recognizes the rights of same sex couples married in other states. That legislation was passed in May and Congress did not override it.
If they try to block it this time, President Obama would have to sign the resolution. That would cause a bit of a stir given the fact that many people in the GLBT community feel like Obama hasn't acted swiftly enough on behalf of gay rights. He has failed to repeal the Don't Act Don't Tell policy and hasn't made much headway in other areas concerning the gay civil rights struggle. To his defense, he has plenty of other things on his plate. In my opinion, health care and education reform should be at the top of his list.

[Read the NY Times piece HERE]

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