December 15th, 2009
11:55 AM ET
11 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. Aaron

    HRH Lieberman is not going to approve of this. Dems will have to overturn any same sex marriage law the District comes up with to make him happy again.

    December 15, 2009 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  2. Jen Hiers

    that is wonderful! Equality is on its way :)

    December 15, 2009 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  3. Benjamin (San Antonio, Texas)

    Why is the city council voting on this issue for the people. If this vote was left to the people to decide we would be seeing a different outcome. Last I checked majority rules, why are we changing laws and misinterrpreting the constitution for the minority of the U.S. population (homosexuals).

    December 15, 2009 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  4. Hunter Dan

    What has this country come to, after being founded on Christian beliefs, what has the world come to believing it is ok for a man to marry another man or a woman to marry another woman. God created man in his image, I believe some people are marring that image, you don't see a gay zebra, tiger, or elephant do you? It seems like the animals of the earth better understand the concept that a male was made to form a bond with a female, to procreate and bear offspring, seems like they might be just a little smarter than we give them credit for.

    December 15, 2009 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  5. T.C.

    I hope to God this does not pass, these people are not normal keep them behind close doors it should not ever be accepted as per woman and man in which God made it to be. Children should not see or hear what these animals do, we will pray that it does not get pass. GOD HELP US ALL.

    December 15, 2009 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  6. Jerry Coltrane

    Hey DC, here's part of Obama's Hope and Change. See how much good that will do for you...

    December 15, 2009 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  7. Terry from West Texas

    This is a stupid issue. I do not care who sleeps with whom, who lives with whom, and who is whose beneficiary. It would be best to leave marriage to the churches. The state can register domestic partnerships.

    If a gay couple wants to get married, they can find a minister. If a straight or gay couple wants to register a domestic partnership, then they can go down to the county clerk's office and fill out a form.

    Those who weep for the sanctity of marriage are weeping for something long dead. Most marriages end in divorce. Many that don't end in divorce are nothing special. Only a few friends have what I would call a special relationship. A huge percentage of American babies are conceived out of wedlock. A slightly smaller percentage are born out of wedlock. American marriage is really nothing special. I mean, look around you.

    Let's settle this and get on with serious business.

    December 15, 2009 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  8. dale

    We are not europe, nor do we want to be. Everything that is going on in the states is leaning toward eurpean culture. Funny but europe wanted to be more like the usa. So I ask, why would we pass any laws in america that leans toward europe? This is america and if we don't protect it we'll be living like europeans. Do you really want that?

    December 15, 2009 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  9. patNY

    Thanks DC!

    Marriage Equality by ANY MEANS NECESSARY!

    December 15, 2009 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  10. Obama says NO to gay marriage........

    Do not go against your president on gay marriage.....Obama says NO, NO, No, a thousand times NO.......

    You voted for Obama--is he giving you the change you voted for???
    Well, at least he's keeping the wars going.....

    December 15, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  11. Sarah, Northern Colorado

    Until marriage equality is voted in, we will still be a nation of first, second and third class citizens. Hopefully, this vote today will pass with no issue.

    December 15, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  12. HavPlenty

    This should not be allowed anywhere, period. This isn't natural.

    December 15, 2009 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  13. TomNDallas

    I am not sure why these governments find it so difficult to recognize gay marriages. There is absolutely no threat to regular marriage from these rights being granted to the gays. Never heard of a gay living next door that caused an issue in a straight family in a house next to the gays. Seems to me it would be a bigger threat from straight people living next door.

    I hope some day that the American Public matures as has the rest of the world has done and realize that love is love regardless of the sex!

    December 15, 2009 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  14. Francisco Cardenas

    Nobody's marriage affects me but my own. Let everyone who wants to get married, get married. The world will be a better place with more people in committed relationships. Religious types need to stop their rage against same-sex marriage and start acting with a little human kindness.

    December 15, 2009 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  15. Duck Fallas

    Big Gay Marriage vote? Who cares what size they are?

    December 15, 2009 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  16. Silence Dogoode

    Who cares just so long as religions are not not required to marry homosexuals in their churches.....

    December 15, 2009 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  17. WMiller

    I love how CNN calls this a "big" gay marriage vote. We're talking about the District of Columbia, not California. But of course any little area that votes for gay marriage is big when the rest of the country is overwhelmingly (at least in numbers of states) opposed to it.

    December 15, 2009 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  18. ammosally

    It's a stressfull day here... keeping the fingers crossed it passes!

    December 15, 2009 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  19. RAG

    There is no rational truth-based arguement against gay marriage.

    All biblical arguements against it are null and void since this is a secular country and civil marriage is a property contract, not a sacrement. The church, any church, has no voice int he arguement.

    All cultural arguements against it ignore the high rate of hetrosexual divorce and the very low rate of gay divorce.

    All that is left is bigotry and ignorance, the hallmarks of right-wing "culture warriors" throughout time.

    December 15, 2009 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  20. Blackened

    Ahhh.. Thats the spirit.. If the people keep voting the laws down in other states, just get the City Council to vote it in for you in DC.

    December 15, 2009 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  21. Citizen

    New York is too ignorant to pass it.

    December 15, 2009 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  22. Victim of reading other Victim's posts

    Maybe marriage isn't a basic human right, but not extending it's benefits granted by the government is certainly selective justice. Not one of you who oppose gay marriage can justify the non-extent of benefits in any way. Other than your own "icky" factor.

    Now if a Church choses to not honor same-sex marriages, that's their business, as they are to be separate from government in every way. That includes policy based on ideals.

    December 15, 2009 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  23. Rob in NY

    Terrific! Congratulations!

    December 15, 2009 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  24. Jeff

    What benefits to society do marriages provide? What are their costs? For both questions, financial or otherwise.

    I would guess that at least at one point in time, heterosexual marriages provided greater benefits than costs, for the state to get involved in recognizing them. I won't comment about modern day heterosexual marriages.

    Do homosexual marriages benefit society amply to justify their costs to society? That is the question.

    The costs and benefits mentioned are partially financial (tax statuses), and largely intangible/unquantifiable.

    December 15, 2009 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  25. Terry, TX

    The city council should not be the one's voting on this issue.... it should be the residents..... this is bogus and stupid.

    December 15, 2009 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
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