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.

NEXT: Gay Rescue

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  1. We can hardly wait!

  2. This law could be overturned b y Congress, unlike the similar law in New Hampshire.

    1. Yeah, because the Democrats in Congress haven't done enough this year to alienate their base with the health care fiasco.

      1. Yeah, because the Democrats in Congress haven't done enough this year to alienate their base with the health care fiasco.

        What proportion of their base constitutes same-sex marriage supporters?

  3. Or, alternately, we could all agree that when the state hands a benefit to a group based on its actions, it is necessarily denying benefits to other groups based on their actions or lack of action, and the unfairness of that should prevent any such benefit being offered or required in the first place.

    (If suggesting the government get out of the marriage business isn't part of the Reason drinking game, it should be.)

    1. Is it constitutional for the government to regulate marriage? Would more libertarians care about it if there were large enough industry interests at stake as they are in healthcare and energy? If floral arrangers had a powerful lobby would CATO be more vocal about the privatization of marriage?

      1. True, if only libertarian sites like Reason bothered to post articles regarding marriage rights, rather than just going on about climate change and health care all the time.

        1. I think there are some libertarians (particularly married ones) who can fall into the trap of equating the legal benefits of marriage as rights.

  4. But will DC legalize the 2nd Amendment?

  5. Let me guess, no press statement from the White House commending the D.C. Council? Just crickets?

  6. Gay marriage may be legal in DC, but Oral Roberts won't be performing any of the ceremonies.



  7. You know, I completely support any adult's right to enter into any kind of voluntary relationship they want to and to call it whatever they want to. I don't think the government should be in the marriage business. So, yeah, I am completely for the right to gay marry. Likewise, I think there should be no sanctions against bigamy and support the right of the C of LDS to have any kind of marriage arrangements they choose. I would like, however, to have the gay community be willing to support that right also. If you have a book like Johnny Has Two Mommies there should also be a book titled Johnny Has Four Mommies and A Daddy or whatever combination of consenting adults who choose to call themselves married.

    1. You didn't specify "adult human's right". You're one of them Man-Dog Marriage supporters, ain't ya?

  8. Now all Tim has to do is move to DC and he can finally get married the right and proper way.

  9. If the capital city can do it ? so can every capital city of every state in the country! This is another large step in the right direction for America and American freedoms. Know how to help! Here's a good resource: http://tictacdo.com/ttd/Defend.....age-Rights (ignore the lipstick, I have no idea why it's there ? this is a quality article.) Another point for DC vs NYC.

  10. Freedom, it turns out, is good for the economy? Revolutionary! And 11-2 ? a milestone indeed!

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