Monday, December 21, 2009

DC Mayor Fenty Signs Marriage Bill

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 04:  Wesley Gann and J...Image by Getty Images via Daylife
In a major victory for marriage equality, DC mayor Adrian Fenty signed a bill on Friday, making same-sex marriage legal in the nation's capital.

What makes this victory especially unique is that there is no residency requirement, meaning that gay and lesbian couples from anywhere can get married in the nation's capital, even though those marriages may not be recognized in their home states. This could set the stage for our next battle when/if DOMA is finally repealed.

dcAgenda reports:
With about 200 spectators cheering from the pews, D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty signed a bill Friday to legalize same-sex marriage in Washington during a ceremony at a church that played a leading role in pushing for black civil rights in the 1950s and 1960s.

“To the world, today an era of struggle ends for thousands of residents of Washington, D.C., who have been denied the fundamental right to marry the person of their choosing,” Fenty told the gathering at All Souls Unitarian Church in Northwest D.C.

“I say to all those residents who watch the nation’s capital today that our city is taking a leap forward in ensuring freedom and equality to all residents.”

Fenty signed the Religious Freedom & Civil Marriage Equality Amendment Act of 2009 four days after the D.C. Council gave its final approval of the measure, 11-2.

Don't celebrate just yet, though. Congress has the final say over new legislation in the district and the enemies of freedom are hard at work lobbying conservative lawmakers to intervene and put a stop to liberty and justice for all. With all eyes focused health care reform, there just doesn't seem to be enough interest in congress to stop the new law, which could go into effect by summer.

In a related story, The Washington Post has an Op Ed story written by husband and wife pastors, Dennis and Christine Wiley, called, "Why two black DC pastors support gay marriage".

The couple writes:
"For us, the courage to perform same-sex unions is in keeping with the proudest traditions of our Baptist and congregational heritage. Within the Baptist tradition of freedom and autonomy, Covenant Baptist Church has a long history of progressive ministry emphasizing social justice, service to the community and inclusion."
Read the full article here.
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