December 15th, 2009
11:55 AM ET
8 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. jim david

    We were just in ME last October and planned to go back...But now we are gpoing to take our Gay MONEY to VT.

    December 15, 2009 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  2. TCM

    Why not? DC is full of unethical, immoral screw-ups anyway.....

    December 15, 2009 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  3. Pragmatic

    IF you don't want a "gay marriage" then don't have one. What people down the street do and don't do is none of my business ... and none of yours. If God is upset, he'll get all straightened out on Judgment Day ... if all the time, energy and money spent on this issue had been focused on something positive ... like feeding hungry children ... think how much better the world would be.

    December 15, 2009 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  4. Walker

    50 years from now that generation will look back at us as we do of the generations that did not allow women to vote or treated people of different skin color as chattle.

    Fear, ignorance and hatred are what fuel people that oppose same sex marriage and homosexuality in general. Those are 3 things I would not use to define Jesus and find it repugnant that they hide behind Him to shield their prejudice.

    Plus if homosexuality was around long enough for the men who wrote the bible to condemn it and it is still here, well it isn't going away is it?

    Jesus love, he doesn't judge.

    I love my gay sister in law and hope she some day can marry and truly be accepted by society for the way she was made, not chose.

    December 15, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  5. Esme

    It's baby steps, but we will eventually be allowed to truly call ourselves "The Land of the Free"...for EVERYBODY.

    We're getting there - just very, very slowly.

    Until then, we need a new slogan that represents each and every American, 'cause "The Land of the Free" currently better applies to our neighbours to the North and not us! We lost our way in the lost years (ahem, the Bush years). We forgot what freedom and liberty means. We lost our concept of equality. We let the separation of church and state erode. In short, we let down our forefathers and their expectations of how great this nation can be.

    I want my country back!

    December 15, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  6. Danny

    I just can't understand why ANYONE would care if 2 consenting adults enter into a legally binding contract that states that they are now responsible for the other's debts and designates who can make medical decisions on their behalf if they are incapacitated. Add in a few additional legal rightsand take out the religious ceremony and that's basically all that marriage is.

    December 15, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  7. Chuck

    It's about time!

    December 15, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  8. Jeff

    It unfortunately will probably not be too long until most if not all States will recognize this. What a shame. My kids and other families everywhere will be directly impacted by this. Hopefully our children will embrace the correct prinicples taught at home that this shouldn't be acceptable rather than what is taught at schools or from our government!

    December 15, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  9. Donkey Party

    I'm not gay, but what is the big deal? The conservatives always talk about the government taking away freedoms, but all they want to do is tell the gay community that they're sinners and doomed to Hell, they don't want women to have the right to chose what is right for themselves regarding abortion, they want to force people to pray to their god only, regardless of the person's beliefs, they discourage free-thinking, they deny science and expect you to do the same, and they constantly side with corporate entities that are infinitely more concerned with their profit margins than the services they provide to people. You would think with all the lies, slander, corruption, ineffectiveness, and fear and hate mongering from the right that there would be enough good people out there to realize they have been duped by the right from day one.

    December 15, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  10. Mike

    Hopefully this spreads to the rest of the nation. It is about time the US legalized gay marriage on a federal level. It is pure discrimination not to. It affords a set of privileges to one group of people (heterosexual couples) and denies that same set of privileges to another group (homosexual couples) based on sexual preference. This is already a federally protected demographic in the workplace, why has it taken so long to abolish this base discrimination? Because conservatives and evangelicals utilize issues like gay marriage and abortion as lightning rods in their culture war. They succeeded in funding support for Prop 8 in California and will no doubt condemn a vote in DC if it passes as the proof that America is headed to hell in a handbasket. I'm sorry, but last time I checked, the Declaration of Independence says all men are created equal, (granted this was hypocrisy as slavery was still in existence) not just straight people or those who believe in God. In my eyes, this advances freedom, liberty, and equality; all the things Republicans and neocons love to scream about but have no real interest in supporting.

    December 15, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  11. Bubble of Sanity

    Every time the gay marriage issue is proposed to the PEOPLE, it fails miserably, even in California. The only way gay marriage is legalized is by a small city council panel, a judiciary committee, or one lone judge who thinks he/she knows more than the voters of the state. Only once or twice has a body as big as a state legislature "legalized" gay "marriage."

    This distortion of an institution is being forced on a nation that does not want it. Gay marriage has never been approved by any voting body in the US of even 100 people.

    They have "same sex unions" and legal provisions. Marriage is between a man and a woman. Why can they not get that through their thick skulls? Even the majority of people in DC are against gay marriage. Why do small-number panels and walnut-brained judges keep imposing this unpopular, unwelcome concept on Americans?

    December 15, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  12. David

    It is hard for me to understand why we have to fight to legitimize our love but I am hopeful that justice will prevail in the end.

    December 15, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  13. terry,va

    Might as well allow gays to marry in DC. Every other thing in that town is messed up. Maybe they can get Barney Franks married.

    December 15, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  14. Big Gay Al

    Marriage is a label, just give me the same rights a married person has and I'll be just fine.

    December 15, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  15. Joe Fattal

    From our State Capitol, I wouldn't expect any different.

    December 15, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  16. Chris

    I cant believe this is an issue? Two people feel something for each other who cares. If they want to live together then they should get the same treatment as a married couple. I don't know why it matters to people. You cant stop them from being together so...why not just accept it? People claim that its not the way god wanted it, well didn't god create everything? Then it must in someway be of his design. I'm an atheist btw so I don't believe anything in the bible, but still..grow up people.

    December 15, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  17. Hendrik

    To all these moralistic clowns, including the Catholic bishops, LEAVE THESE PEOPLE ALONE. They don't bother you so don't bother them. Funny how the pious Catholics talk about morality and then molest little children. Disgusting! I am sure they fools were glad to see me and other like me to leave this church. I always thought the Catholic church was a bit apart from the Evangelical paranoids but they are turning out to be just the same.

    December 15, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  18. J

    One sin (homosexuality) should not be protected by laws, while others are punished by laws. Hypocrisy abounds now in the US. We are heading in the same direction as the Roman Empire headed – to destruction. The only reason this country has existed as long as it has is because we, up unitl fairly recent times, have been governed by natural law, not the whims of whoever is in government at any particular time. Now, circumvention of the Constitution by judges is the problem. And, when men and women choose not to live their lives according to the laws of God, no matter how many laws or regulations are passed, society will not be able to be governed enough and our freedoms will go away due to the growth of government.

    December 15, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  19. Patrick - Indianapolis

    I think if you're IQ is less than 100, you shouldn't be allowed to do nearly as much as a person with an IQ of 140. I mean if we're going to have second class citizens, then I believe the least intelligent people should be in a secondary class. It seems only fair.

    December 15, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  20. rita

    There finally comes a time when the gay community can look at the Democrats in the federal government and say, "Put up, or shut up". It will be interesting to see how these pandering charlatans finally vote on gay marriage. As far as I know, this will be the first time that they will have an opportunity to vote on the subject. George W. Bush pushed for intolerance and bigotry to be enshrined into the constitution of the United States of America by denying living and breathing, red-blooded gay Americans the possibility of ever marrying and the Democrats called him a gay basher. Let us see if they put their money where their crooked mouths are.

    December 15, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  21. DSH

    As Dolly Parton once said, she's for gay marriage because "why shouldn't they suffer like the rest of us". I couldn't agree more.

    December 15, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  22. Tom married and straight

    Another small but signifcant step in the on-going battle to end biggotry.

    December 15, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  23. Mike D. in San Diego

    I love how we have to sit around and vote on equality in this country.

    December 15, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  24. Marisol Flores

    Didn't we learn anything from Sodom and Gomorrah? Do we want their fate and demise to become ours? A country without children ceases to exist into the future.

    December 15, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  25. patNY

    Too bad the NY State Senate balked at the Will of the People, as the majority of NYS citizens support marriage equality.

    December 15, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
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