The good news that gives Bishop Harry Jackson agita occurred just before noon ET. (The New Gay):

Today the D.C. Council voted in favor of marriage equality. In the first of two votes held at noon today in the John A. Wilson Building, the Council voted 11 – 2 to legalize same-sex marriage.

“What a splendid moment this is for all of us,” said Council member Jim Graham (D – Ward 1). “When one of us is denied a right, we are all denied the right.”

With 10 of the 13 council members sponsoring the bill, a favorable outcome was expected. This is the first step in a long road ahead.  A second vote will come in two week, and then the bill has 10 days to be approved by Mayor Fenty (D), who has pledged to sign it.  The District has limited home rule, meaning Congress has 30 legislative days to reverse any law the Council passes.

“Republicans say it is unlikely they could attract enough Democrats to overturn the law,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

…D.C. has the largest percentage of same-sex couples in the nation, where 1.5 percent of all households comprise same-sex couples. This is more than double the percentage of any other state, according to Our Families Count. A favorable vote, could give more than 3,600 couples the ability to marry.

Statement by Evan Wolfson, executive director of Freedom to Marry and author of Why Marriage Matters: America, Equality and Gay People's Right to Marry, following the District of Columbia City Council’s 11-2 vote in support of the freedom to marry, the first of two required votes:

“Today, the District of Columbia’s City Council listened to their constituents and overwhelmingly voted in support of protecting families throughout the District, the first of two votes needed by the council to end the exclusion of gay couples from marriage.  A majority of voters, and families, from across New York and New Jersey now look to their representatives in the state legislature to do the right thing and vote in support of the freedom to marry.  As research has shown, by voting for the freedom to marry for gay couples, legislators in these states will continue to be re-elected just as every other state legislator who has voted in support of marriage equality and ran for re-election.”


Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding