December 15th, 2009
11:55 AM ET
6 months ago

DC same-sex marriage vote Tuesday

Washington (CNN) - The nation's capital city is expected to take a major step Tuesday towards legalizing same-sex marriage.

The District of Columbia's city council is scheduled to vote - and expected to pass - a measure that would recognize gay marriages as legal. The city council overwhelmingly passed the bill in a previous vote on December 1.

Tuesday's second vote is needed to send the measure to District Mayor Adrian Fenty, who has said he will sign the bill. Then the measure goes to Congress for a 30-day review period, but it's considered unlikely that the Democratic majority on Capitol Hill will block the bill. By law, Congress has the right to review and overturn laws created by the District's city council.

If the measure becomes law, the District would join Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont and Iowa in allowing legal same-sex marriages. A law legalizing gay marriage in New Hampshire takes effect on January 1.

Earlier this year, lawmakers in Maine approved a measure legalizing same-sex marriages, but voters in the state last month passed a referendum to overturn the new law. Last week, New York's state senate defeated a bill that would legalize gay marriages. A similar bill stalled last week in New Jersey's state senate.

–CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this story


Filed under: Same-sex marriage
soundoff (166 Responses)
  1. Patrick in Texas

    When interracial marriage was legalized, the vast majority of Americans were against it. The majority of Americans were wrong then just like they are wrong about marriage equality. Civil rights should never be put to a popular vote. Congratulations DC on this important civil rights legislation.

    December 15, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  2. New Age Independent

    There is no reason that lawmakers should be making this decision for the people. The recent overturned laws should be plenty to realize that lawmakers do not vote the people's wishes.

    December 15, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  3. Daniel

    "Natural" does not equal "moral." The natural response to agression is to strike back, the natural response to resource scarcity is greediness, and if men always did what their natural instincts told them to do we would have a lot more rape. I don't care if a predisposition to same-sex attraction is genetic or "natural," it is still not moral to engage in homosexual behavior.

    December 15, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  4. GOP = "I hope he fails"

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights. Among these are the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    My wife and I were married when I was 41 and she was 44. Neither of us wanted to have children at that stage of our lives. Does this mean we should not have been allowed to get married? Or maybe we should have been allowed a “union” but not a “marriage.”

    Finally, can anybody tell me how my marriage will be affected if gays are allowed to marry? Will this suddenly cause my wife to leave me? If you believe the institution of marriage is so vulnerable that we must discriminate in order to protect it, maybe you’re inadvertently telling us about your own marriage.

    December 15, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  5. David

    This is the Civil Rights Movement of my generation. Allow them to defend our beautiful country just as they are regardless of race, sex, religion, AND sexuality!! They are American's! Let them get married and maybe we can lower the national divorce rate!

    December 15, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  6. Sick of this debate

    Most people who disapprove of gay marriage do so for religious reasons, claiming homosexuality to be nothing but a mental illness. I can't believe the nerve of those who take that stance. I find their need to seek repentance from an imaginary friend (whom they fear) to be much more evident of mental illness. At the very least, their urge for religion seems like more of a choice than the urge one human feels for another. All humans seek security, so if one person feels secure in the arms of a member of the same sex, very much like one feels in the arms of their personal god, I can't help but feel like similar vital needs are met in both situations.

    December 15, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  7. Obama says NO to gay marriage......

    you voted for him....now go with him on this......he's your leader.....

    December 15, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  8. Jeff

    We already have equality. Men can marry women. Women can marry men. Regardless of orientation.

    Given that the government is what is recognizing marriage, the argument of conservatives wanting to expand government in this regard is futile.

    Given that the public has to accept the marriage, shouldn't they have a say as to what constitutes one?

    December 15, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  9. joe

    What is happening to the rights of the people??? Since when do a handful of the people have the right to grant something that it appears the majority of people do not want.?? Not one of the states that same sex marriage has been put to the vote have voted for it. In all cases it is the legislature that has approved it and not the people. D C Council will approve this and the people should ask that it be put on the ballot where it belongs. Please do not tell me it is about civil rights because it is not. It is about endorsing a life style that is against natural law... The next thing that will be approved is polygamy as those people say we are discriminating against them....

    December 15, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  10. Jake

    Do the right thing, DC! legalize same-sex marriage! the rest of the country is watching and will one day follow suit.

    December 15, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  11. Peter s

    Is there anything like same sex marriage in life? Capital NO! it should be known as same sex sodomy. Why is this group of people forced on other peoples throats?. They want this they want that!!!. They want to join the military well and good!! make a homosexual brigade make them wear rainbow uniform and send them to war!!!!!! how about that??

    December 15, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  12. Tom in Florida

    4out of 5 Evangelical Divorcies believe Marriage is Sacred...UGH!
    The Bible looks down on divorce, yet 50% OF SRT8 christian couples end in Divorce. That sounds hypocritical.
    If a M4M or W4W don't make you Happy don't do it .
    But don't deny the rights of 2 lovers to live a happy fullfilling life.
    They are not looking for your approval, they just want the same rights as Hetro people have.

    December 15, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  13. Oregon J

    Can't believe I just read most of those, but some good points and some of those enduring, conservative, non-thinking values. I've grown a lot over the last decade and am happy to say that ALL people should have the right to find a mate regardless of sexual preference. If there is a god, he has made all of us and I am pretty sure there are several hetero's in this blog who are going to have some hot feet in the afterlife.

    God doesn't judge, only people who think they know more than he do. It is about equal rights and supporting minority populations. Those of you who view this as a popular vote issue are nothing less than ignoramuses (l love that word) and understand nothing of the origins of the US government. Go DC! Let us progress with society and learn from others for once!!!!

    December 15, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  14. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Dick Cheney always becomes silent when issues of gay marriages is news and once it goes away he resurfaces to attack President Obama. Cheney's daughter is lesbian but Cheney and his other daughter Liz are very selective on political matters but always disappear when gay/lesbian politics resurface. If Cheney and his daughter Liz can't support their lesbian family members by speaking out there is no way they can support you or me.

    December 15, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  15. New Yorker

    How about gays move to Canada? Please leave us alone.

    December 15, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  16. Cynthia

    Gay couples are contributing positively to this country. They pay tons of taxes and are beneficial to the adoption system. There are over a half million unwanted children from broken heterosexual relationships and homes. Gay couples are more likely to adopt these "high-risk" children such as crack babies, kids with ADHD and other forms of mental problems. Studies have shown that these children turn out to be well-adjusted individuals in society.

    Gay couples in this country are denied over 1,000 different tax credits and protections, that heterosexual couples have. Gay couples are paying a lot more taxes than straight couples and are not entitled to those benefits. If the federal government don't want to recognize gay couples as married, then they should not pay federal taxes. In fact, all Gay folks should not pay any federal taxes, if they are 2nd class citizens in this country. No federal representation! No federal taxes...Plain and simple!

    Most Gay folks are decent people, some are engineers, teachers, Business owners, artists etc... It's about time they should have equal rights. We claim that this country, the USA is a place of freedom and equality. Is it? The Gay marriage and gay rights issue will be a test as to where this country stands for freedom and equality. Otherwise, we will still be the laughing stock of other Western nations. Our next door neighbor Canada have the kind of equality that would put our country to shame. It's time for the U.S.A to step up!

    December 15, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
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