D.C. Council Legalizes Gay Marriage

Posted by

Adrienne S. Gaines

The D.C. City Council legalized same-sex marriage today in an 11-2 vote.

Democratic Mayor Adrian Fenty is expected to sign the bill before Christmas.
But because Congress has final say over D.C.’s laws, the bill is subject to a
30-day Congressional review period before becoming law.

Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz
of Utah, the ranking member of the subcommittee that has oversight over
district laws, said the bill would be difficult to derail in Congress with
Democrats who support homosexual marriage in the majority.

If the measure is approved, the
District of Columbia could begin issuing gay marriage licenses this spring.
Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont and New Hampshire allow same-sex
marriage, though New Hampshire’s gay marriage law doesn’t take effect until

A group of faith leaders known
as the Stand4Marriage DC Coalition have for months been calling on district
lawmakers to put marriage to a vote. But the District of Columbia Board of
Elections and Ethics has rejected their petition for a referendum, saying it
would violate human rights laws.

Last month, the coalition filed
suit in Washington, D.C., Superior Court to reverse the board’s decision. Gay
marriage bans have passed in all 31 states that have put the issue to a vote.

“The people of D.C. do not
support same-sex marriage, and they are entitled to vote on this issue just
like the voters in 31 other states had a chance to vote,” stated Bishop Harry
Jackson, chairman of Stand4Marraige and pastor of Hope Christian Church in
suburban Maryland.

“The City Council’s action today
is not the final word,” he added. “The issue is far from over. We intend to
take this issue to the people and fight for their right to vote on the
definition of marriage.”

Maggie Gallagher, president of
the National Organization for Marriage, said her group would join
Stand4Marriage in seeking a referendum on the definition of marriage.

“Fundamentally, we do expect
that the D.C. City Council is not going to succeed in taking away the
charter-given right of the people to vote if they choose to protect marriage in
D.C.,” Gallagher told Charisma. “I think this is not a done deal. We are
fully prepared to work with Bishop Jackson and others in D.C. who are going to
fight this bill because we don’t believe this is what the majority of the
people in the District of Columbia want.”

Although not specifically in response to today’s gay marriage vote, the
Family Research Council and The Call plan to host a national prayer Webcast
Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. Eastern to intercede for issues such as abortion, health
care reform and the preservation of traditional marriage.

Jackson will be among the participants and pastor Jim Garlow, who led
the Proposition 8 efforts to overturn the California Supreme Court’s gay
marriage ruling, as well as Republican lawmakers Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas, Sen. Jim
DeMint of South Carolina, Rep. Randy Forbes of Virginia and Rep. Michele
Bachmann of Minnesota. 


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