Tuesday, April 7, 2009

D.C. Council Votes to Recognize Same-Sex Marriages From Other States

Seal of the District of Columbia.Image via Wikipedia
Today is another good news day for the LGBT community. The D.C. Council has voted unanimously to recognize marriages of same-sex couples that are performed in other states. This is exciting news coming hours after Vermont became the fourth state to legalize gay marriage.

There will be a final vote in about a month that shouldn't be an issue since the initial vote was unanimous. Also, D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty is expected to sign the law. Fenty said he would review the legislation but also said "I support gay marriage." The interesting thing will be to see if Congress will get involved since they approve the cities laws over Home Rule.

Council member Phil Mendelson (D-At Large), who authored the legislation and has been fighting for the rights of the LGBT community for years said, "Some are saying it's an important step. I am saying it's a simple step."

Below is the Press release from the Human Rights Campaign

Human Rights Campaign Applauds D.C. Council Vote
to Recognize Marriages of Lesbian and Gay Couples From Other Jurisdictions
Council also voted to recognize civil unions, domestic partnerships from outside D.C. Final Council votes expected May 5;
bills require approval by Mayor, then Congressional review
WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, applauded the D.C. Council for an initial 12-0 vote today to fully recognize marriages by lesbian and gay couples legally entered into in other jurisdictions.  The Council also voted to recognize civil unions and broad domestic partnerships entered into in other jurisdictions as domestic partnerships under D.C. law.  A final Council vote on both bills is expected May 5.  The bills would then be sent to Mayor Adrian Fenty and, if approved, would be sent to Congress for a 30 legislative day review period. 
“The D.C. Council’s votes today are another positive step toward equality, coming on the same day as the historic marriage vote in the Vermont legislature,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese.  “We look forward to the final Council votes, and urge Mayor Fenty to sign this common-sense legislation.  We also hope that Congress will respect the Council’s votes and will respect the District of Columbia’s choice to provide equal recognition for couples who have legally entered into relationships in other jurisdictions.”
Washington, D.C. law currently provides domestic partnerships for lesbian, gay, and heterosexual couples that give access to the rights and responsibilities of marriage under D.C. law.  Four states currently recognize marriage for lesbian and gay couples: Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa (expected to begin April 24, 2009) and Vermont (effective September 1, 2009, following a vote by the legislature earlier today). 
New York recognizes marriages by lesbian and gay couples legally entered into in another jurisdiction.  California recognized marriage by lesbian and gay couples between June and November of 2008, before voters approved Proposition 8, which purports to amend the state constitution to prohibit marriage equality.  The Proposition 8 vote has been challenged in court; a decision by the state supreme court is expected by June.
Lesbian and gay couples do not receive federal rights and responsibilities anywhere in the United States.  To learn more about state by state legislation, visit: www.hrc.org/state_laws.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

No comments:

Post a Comment