May 5th, 2009
12:40 PM ET
5 years ago

D.C. council votes to recognize same-sex marriage

While the council voted to recognize same-sex marriages, those marriages are not currently allowed in the district.
While the council voted to recognize same-sex marriages, those marriages are not currently allowed in the district.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – The Washington D.C. City Council voted 12-1 Tuesday to recognize same-sex marriages from states that allow those unions.

Mayor Adrian Fenty has indicated he will sign the measure. It will then become law after a mandatory 30-day congressional review period if Congress fails to overturn the measure.

Former Mayor Marion Barry cast the lone dissenting vote.

While the council voted to recognize same-sex marriages, those marriages are not currently allowed in the district.

Three states - Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Iowa - currently allow same-sex marriages. A law passed by Vermont legislators that makes gay and lesbian marriages legal takes affect in September. New Hampshire lawmakers are close to passing a similar bill.

Fifty-four percent of adults questioned in an April 23-26 nationwide CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll said that marriages between gay or lesbian couples should not be recognized as valid, with 44 percent suggesting they should be considered legal.


Filed under: Same-sex marriage
soundoff (74 Responses)
  1. TomJay

    Marion Barry the junkie voted against this bill? Wow. Does he think he's Miss California? Let's see who pickets this guy.

    May 5, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  2. peakarack

    What the hell is wrong with this country?

    May 5, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  3. Rick

    I guess Marion Barry isn't so bad after all.

    May 5, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  4. Water board Coulter! We want the truth about that Adam's Apple!

    To all the neo-cons stating homosexuality is a "preference" you hold the key to the whole issue!

    Just let us homosexual men know how you decide to be heterosexual.

    Is it a daily decision, maybe while shaving? One day you shave your face, the next day your legs?

    Do you decide at noon? One day beenie weenies and one day tacos?

    How does it work out when the wife wants to discuss drilling and you have chosen that day to be interested in drill bits?

    What if the little woman has chosen the fondness for flannel, power tools and deck building the same day you are packing wood?

    What happens on the day the wife wants to go see "Mama Mia" based on ABBA but you would rather stay home shadow dancing to “Dancing Queen" by ABBA?

    I do not know how you guys keep all the balls in the air so to speak!

    Maybe we will just start believing homosexuality is no more a choice or "preference" than is heterosexuality.

    May 5, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  5. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    That's an easy one for D.C. The Washington politicians have been in bed with everyone from pages to lobbists for two centuries.

    Now they can do each other legally.

    May 5, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  6. ray ray

    WOW... never in my life would I think I'd agree with former Mayor Marion Barry.... but seems like he's the ONLY person not high on crack at the DC council.

    May 5, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  7. FreeNLovIt

    Excellent! Now, what are we going to do to make sure that AIDS is contained? As according to the CDC, left unchecked, AIDS among men spreads like a wild fire.

    May 5, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  8. John in Ohio

    Yay!

    May 5, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  9. ron

    And everyone has to agree, because that's what America is all about.

    May 5, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  10. JT

    Ruh Roh Rorge

    May 5, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  11. Mark C.

    One more step towards real equality and every step on the journey is important. It would be better if they were fully recognizing marriages taking place within DC as well, but we'll get there.

    The tyranny of preferential treatment for heterosexuals and far-right religious zealots will end in this country to evolve into a new era of true "liberty and justice for all".

    May 5, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  12. arithmetic is liberal

    I truly believe this is the tipping point.

    All that the enemies of marriage equality have at this point is a much-lampooned commercial about storm clouds, and a beauty pageant spokeswoman photographed topless.

    May 5, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  13. southerncousin

    Its the murder and crime capital of the country, but they finally did something to make the CNN proud.

    May 5, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  14. Str8inDC

    I am mystified that this is still an issue in today's society. I am a straight male living in DC am happy for this initial step towards equality for all. It is not my duty, nor my business, to tell someone how to live their lives. Do I feel threatened by the homosexual population? Absolutely not. Do I feel threatened by the religious right trying to suppress a minority population? Absolutely.

    May 5, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  15. Doug

    Wow tuff day in lib land. One of the most respected and admired politicians on the left, Marion Barry, dissented. I would assume that Barry gets a free pass since most libs don't care about gays anyway. If the gay person is not a lib marcher then they wish harm on that person in ways that no conservative would ever endorse.

    May 5, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  16. Limbaugh Flu

    Good for freedom.I just wish Limbaugh would come out of the closet and tell us he really wanted to be a priest all his life.Thats just my opinion.

    May 5, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  17. Kevin in Ohio

    Tyranny of the minority. And that is especially the case in DC..... Last time I checked, African Americans were very opposed to this. They are the majority population in DC, and apparently only Marion Berry is there to speak for them.

    May 5, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  18. Jackie in Dallas

    Can we separate the church from state, please? A marriage is, first and foremost, a civil contract - which is why even in church ceremonies, the officiant mentions that by the power invested in them by the state, the couple is declared married. A marriage performed in a judge's office and a marriage performed in a church have no LEGAL differences. Allow the same-sex civil marriage. It is their right. If your religion denies the validity of same sex relationships, don't let them marry in your church. Period. In the church marriage is a legal contract AND a sacrament, I understand. But to deny the legal union because your religion doesn't allow it is to let religion make the rules of law.

    May 5, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  19. Sniffit

    "Fifty-four percent of adults questioned in an April 23-26 nationwide CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll said that marriages between gay or lesbian couples should not be recognized as valid, with 44 percent suggesting they should be considered legal. "

    Aaaaaw, too bad for the 54% that the Constitution was put in place to prevent the tyranny of the majority over the minority.

    May 5, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  20. James

    When it comes to liberial dems the majority doesn't rule and laws will be made from the bench. It is a dangerous situation.

    While I feel for these folks, the public needs to be convinced not forced. This will eventually have a backlash against the dems!

    May 5, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  21. JB

    Although it is against tradition, there is nothing wrong with same-sex marriages. Everyone says that "love is blind" yet refuse to accept this different type of love. It is a violation of privacy to deny recognition of same-sex marriages. After all, those people are not committing a crime or going against the law in any way. People are uncomfortable with the idea of same-sex marriages and are banning it for that reason solely. However, that is not a valid reason and they are being ignorant to the feelings and sentiments of those people. They can't help feeling how they do and they are no different from us. We're all humans and we should undoubtedly give them our support by being tolerant and by letting them live their lives as they choose and not by controlling it and restricting it. That is injustice and discrimination.

    May 5, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  22. John Browning

    This is an abomination to Almighty God. Read the First Chapter of Romans (Holy Bible, for those of you who don't recognize the Romans reference).

    May 5, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  23. Mich

    Hopefully someone will see that this isn't a civil issue it is a moral issue.

    May 5, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  24. John, from SC

    From a Lutheran Chaplain in South Carolina who is happily married to the woman of his dreams...

    APPLAUSE!!!

    Congratulations.

    This is just one more step in the direction of true equality among all.

    May 5, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  25. TJ in Dallas

    The Maine House just passed the same legislation. Their Senate did the same. Progress? I think so!

    EQUALITY!

    May 5, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
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