Washington DC Council passes gay marriage bill, awaits Mayor’s signature

lgbt, politics, religion Add comments

Washington, D.C.By a vote of 11-2, the Washington DC Council has passed the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Amendment Act of 2009, which would make gay marriage legal in our nation’s capital. From the NBC Washington affiliate:

The bill sponsored by openly gay Councilman David Catania had been expected to pass easily. Ten of the 13 council members supported its introduction. Only Councilman Marion Barry, Ward 8, and Councilwoman Yvette Alexander, Ward 7, voted against it Tuesday. Both have said their vote reflects the wishes of their constituents. Catania expressed regret that these colleagues would not be voting with him but noted their support of GLBT issues in the past.

Even with the dissent of Alexander and Barry, Tuesday’s vote was a very cheerful, cordial event, with council members thanking and congratulating each other and patting each other on the back, many expressing pride for being part of this historic vote. Councilwoman Mary Cheh, the first on the roll call, playfully voted “I do,” as did Councilman Jim Graham. Later, Barry voted “I don’t.”

In anticipation of the bill’s passage, marriage equality opponents  vowed to fight the measure.

“The city council’s action today is not the final word. The issue is far from over,” Bishop Harry Jackson, pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, said in a statement Monday.

Jackson has aligned with Robert King, a longtime Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner in Northeast, the Rev. Walter Fauntroy, a former civil rights leader who was a longtime pastor at New Bethel Baptist Church, and several other religious leaders to try to force a referendum to outlaw same-sex marriage.

Mayor Fenty is expected to sign the bill before Christmas, which will go into effect Spring of 2010, provided Congress does not intervene during a congressional review period.

Post by ILO on 12/15/09 at 12:59 pm