D.C. Prepares to Recognize Out of State Same-Sex “Marriages” May 5

Fri Apr 17, 2009 - 12:15 pm EST

 By Kathleen Gilbert

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 17, 2009 ( - A final vote on May 5 is poised to confirm a preliminary vote last week by D.C.‘s city council to recognize same-sex "marriages" performed in other states. 

If confirmed, the little-noticed vote would open the doors to same-sex "marriage" in the influential district. Some commentators have speculated that it could also incite Congressional discussion over the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

The D.C. Council unanimously voted last Tuesday to recognize out-of-state same-sex "marriages" after having voted in early March to extend all marriage benefits to D.C. same-sex couples in domestic partnerships.  The Tuesday vote came on the same day Vermont’s legislature altered marriage law to include same-sex couples.

The recent vote may prelude a clash with Congress, the final arbitrator in the district’s ordinances.  After the second vote May 5, Congress will have a 30-day period to review the change in D.C.‘s law.  In addition, if that bill goes unchallenged, a bill to legalize full-fledged same-sex "marriage" in the district is expected to be introduced soon.

In 1996 Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage as between one man and one woman for the purpose of federal law. While DOMA would not prevent D.C. from recognizing same-sex "marriages," it remains to be seen if Congress will permit an ordinance to go through that goes against the current position of federal law in favor of true marriage.

‘‘Let’s be clear, this is a new era," said openly homosexual Councilman David Catania the day after the vote.  "Everyone would agree we have a tricky relationship with Congress, even when our allies are in power. But progress is made by moving forward, not standing still.’’

Family Research Council (FRC) senior fellow Peter Sprigg commented to the Washington Post that the vote "suggests some real political maneuvering without subjecting it to public scrutiny."

FRC president Tony Perkins called last Tuesday’s vote "a direct affront" to DOMA. 

"The radical Left wants to destroy the traditional union of one man and one woman across the country and they will not rest until they do so," said Perkins.

Directory of D.C. Council contact information:

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