DC Legalizes Gay Marriage


Unsurprising, but here is the story from The Washington Post:

The D.C. Council gave final approval Tuesday to a bill to legalize same-sex marriage, setting off a wave of excitement in the gay community even as opponents vow to continue the fight on Capitol Hill.

The bill, approved by a vote of 11 to 2, will now go to Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D), who is expected to sign it before Christmas. The bill will become law in the spring if it survives a 30-day legislative review period.

As expected, Marion Barry voted against the bill, having previously claimed that, as a "moral politician" who has a crack cocaine and tax evasion conviction, he could not in good conscience vote to allow gays to marry. Barry, as David Boaz pointed out earlier this year, is on wife number four:

During the debate, council member Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) said he could not support the bill but acknowledged the body was making history.

"This must be a proud day for you David, Mr. Graham," said Barry, a onetime civil rights leader, "Just as it was a proud day for me when the voting rights bill was passed in 1965. But this is a democracy and I reserve the right to disagree."

Council member Yvette D. Alexander (D-Ward 7), who like Barry represents neighborhoods east of the Anacostia River, also voted against the legislation, saying her constituents have told her they oppose same-sex marriage.

The Rev. Anthony Evans, associate minister of Mount Zion Baptist Church, said he and other ministers will not relent in their efforts to block the legislation. Led by Bishop Harry Jackson of Hope Christian Church, opponents of the bill have sued in Superior Court to try to force a referendum to define marriage as only between a man and a woman.

"We are going to exercise our constitutional rights," Evans said. "This is not a win today. This is an insignificant blip that cannot become law until the process ends, and we are going to stop it in every way we can."

Also, be sure to read Matt Labash's terrific profile of Barry, which will be included in his forthcoming collection Fly Fishing with Darth Vader: And Other Adventures with Evangelical Wrestlers, Political Hitmen, and Jewish Cowboys.