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. Carl

    Here we go again. The politicians & judges keep shoving this down our throats and every time We The People get a chance to vote on it, it gets rejected. Over and over again.....

    December 15, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  2. PULEEEZZZ!! lets tell some truth

    I'm glad to see this! Most of the news is about how fearfull and conservative this once great nation is becoming.. This news is saying, hey, we arent all fearful religious fundamentalists in the USA. If you want religion in your government, go live in the Middle East!

    December 15, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  3. Tom in Delaware

    And when put to the citizens themselves to vote, the measures ALWAYS fails...aren't you glad that you have a government willing to tell you how to live your life and explain the difference between right and wrong?

    December 15, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  4. progress is a good thing

    Progressives will carry the day... but it always takes too long.

    December 15, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  5. james

    I find the headline for this story, "Big Gay Marriage Vote" to be offensive. How about just stating the facts about DC voting on gay marriage and not add the flippant "BIg Gay" part of the title, which has nothing to do with the vote itself and is completely editorial and construed as being biased?

    December 15, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  6. Conservative Independent

    Let the people decide.

    December 15, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  7. j

    I don't even know why this is being discussed or put to a vote. Homosexual couples should have the same legal rights as heterosexual couples. It's a no brainer. Every citizen deserves equal rights under the law.

    December 15, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  8. Christian

    I'm sure the hardcore conservatives will view this as the end of the world...I think it's great. Maybe America can start being a progressive country again instead of falling behind. To all the conservatives, don't worry too much, the world is ending in 2012 anyway...right?

    December 15, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  9. Matthew

    I applaud the District of Columbia's City Council for their progressive work toward justice and equality for ALL District citizens! This is truly a monumental occasion! DC citizens supporting this movement toward full marriage equality come from all walks of life–we are gay, straight, bi, transgender, White, Black, Latino, Asian, disabled, able-bodied, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Athiest and yes, even Catholic. We come from socio-economic classes across the board and from every age category. We transgress all boundaries that would be used by opponents to try and divide us! We have come together over the last year to form a coalition of support from across the District–and we all speak in solidarity when we say "I do" to marriage equality! Thank you District of Columbia City Council Members! I only hope that our Congressional overseers can give us the benefit of self-governance in this matter, setting aside pre-concieved notions of religious right or wrong, to allow this fair city to decide for itself to stand in justice!

    December 15, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  10. chuck

    It already seems like we have traveled light years away from the socially disruptive, ideologically driven, hate-infused manifest destiny of George W. Bush and his brown shirt minions. Americans have not learned much from the mean-spirited secular and religious tribesmen of Iraq and other groups around the world who want to keep certain people and genders as second class citizens while they take their "rightful" place at the head of the line, head of the government, head of the church, head of this and head of that. Everybody wants to rule the world at the life-long expense of other lives in a pitiful effort to either look good in the face of the creator, steal from the government or satisfy a megalomaniacal urge to sit in a big chair and cast directives onto other less deserving lives. Gay marriage now. There is no reason in the world not to have it.

    December 15, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  11. David

    Gay "marriage" – NO
    Gay "unions" – YES

    Marriage and Unions = same rights

    Everything should be considered a union in the eyes of the government no matter what orientation.

    It is all about wording.

    December 15, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  12. Analyst

    This legality will get overturned by the voters here as well. Across the country, people have stood up for marriage, which is something that only exists between a man and a women. Its very clear, Gays want in on the financial benefits of marriage, but those benefits exist solely for the purpose of producing children, and investment in our future.

    December 15, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  13. Melissa

    Good. Its about bloody time. This should be a national issue, not a state one. Imagine the nightmare it would have been if black freedom had been left up to the states instead of national? Not acceptable. This needs to be a national law. Its about protecting human rights.

    December 15, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  14. Chanel

    If this passes I hope other follow and put a measure to legalize gay marriage.

    December 15, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  15. New Yorker

    When will the government listen to the majority of us, that WE DON"T WANT GAY MARRIAGE!!!!!!!!!

    December 15, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  16. Darke

    Why are we wasting time on this? Why is the federal government not requiring the same rights available to all people? This is inevitable and to delay this is only costing the tax payers $$$$, and for those of you who think you know better than me, get over it! Republicanism is about LESS government interference in my life, NOT MORE!

    December 15, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  17. Go DC!

    Go for it DC! It is taking a long time, just like civil rights for minorities did, but in the end history is on our side & we won't be stopped. 20 years from now it will seem ridiculous that gay marriage was ever questioned. Our society will be stronger & better for it.

    December 15, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  18. Jake Honig

    Churches can do whatever they want...but the government CANNOT discriminate against sexual orientation. If the government issues a MARRIAGE to heterosexual couples, then it MUST issue a marriage to homosexual couples. Bottom line.

    If marriages are supposed to be a "religious" thing, then why do the churches let government issue them? If you want to argue that the government shouldn't issue gay marriages, then you have to argue that the government shouldn't issue ANY marriages. There is no middle ground...the government cannot discriminate.

    December 15, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  19. Ellid

    To all who spout the slogan "Let the people decide," please recall that when "the people decided," blacks were stripped of political rights and social freedoms, women were denied the right to vote or own property in their own names, and the deaf, epileptic, and non-white were forcibly sterilized. Civil rights should not be subject to referendum.

    As for this nonsense about marriage being about reproduction – first, that would imply that our next step should be to force every couple contemplating marriage to undergo fertility testing to ensure that they can conceive. Second, marriage was *never* about reproduction except in wealthy and noble families. It was about forming an economic unit, as anyone who has bothered to study the matter will quickly learn, and the Church was not even involved until well into the Middle Ages. Finally, gay couples can and do have biological children, either by surrogacy, insemination, or adoption of their partners' biological children.

    December 15, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  20. dee

    Can two men create life...NO...Can two women create life...NO...Then they should not be allowed the same treatment as a man and a women WHO CAN create life.

    December 15, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  21. Kevin

    Congratulations Washington DC!

    December 15, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  22. Rick CT

    Good. More people to pay the marriage tax and ultimately stand up for repeal of the same.

    December 15, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  23. Tom in FL

    It's a good thing the Republicans don't have anything to say about this anymore. Republicans hate big government, except when it's telling people who they can and can't marry.

    December 15, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  24. LETHOL

    Anyone epsouses verses and chapters from the Holy Books (Bible, Qur'an, and or the Torah) need to just chill out.

    Of all the Omnipotent beings we as humans have ever believed in I am willing to bet a years salary that God doesn't want, doesn't need, and hasn't designated ANYONE on this planet to be His steward of sorts.

    Let this be an issue between the people who decide to live their life in this orientation and God. Only He can judge.

    MYOB...MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS!!!

    December 15, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  25. Dee

    is nothing sacred anymore?..... Have your unions, have your equal right, I'm all for it..... but marriage between a man & woman is sacred and should not be made out to be taken lightly, and that includes divorce. Shame on gays for what you are doing....

    December 15, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
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