Campus Notebook: Wedding Bills

Posted December 15, 2009 at 5:48pm

Congress now has 30 legislative days to review a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in the District, after the D.C. Council passed the legislation Tuesday with a vote of 11-2.

[IMGCAP(1)]If enacted, the bill would make D.C. one of a handful of jurisdictions in the country that allows same-sex marriage. Advocates have high hopes, asserting that it’s unlikely a Democratic-controlled Congress would veto the bill.

Tuesday marked the council’s second and final vote on Councilmember David Catania’s (I) Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Amendment Act. As on the Dec. 1 vote, only two councilmembers voted against the legislation: Yvette Alexander (D) and Marion Barry (D).

While several Republican Members are against the bill, they have few options to kill it. Congress hasn’t repealed a D.C. bill in two decades, and separate legislation striking the provisions is unlikely to make it to the floor. Furthermore, a rider-free D.C. spending bill recently passed within the omnibus, meaning lawmakers have missed their chance to insert limiting language in the city’s budget.

If the bill makes it through Congress, D.C. will join five states that allow same-sex marriage. Earlier this year, the city also passed a bill to recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere.

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