The SF Chronicle announced yesterday that a law recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states and nations went into effect on Tuesday in the U.S. Capital, while a D.C. councilman said he plans to propose a measure allowing same-sex marriage ceremonies in the district.
The bill was approved 12-1 by the D.C. Council in May. Congress, which has the final say over the city's laws, had 30 days to review the legislation. It took no action, and the bill became law.
"I certainly believe that the fact that we got here is a great victory, that we survived the congressional layover period," said D.C. Council member David Catania, who plans later this year to introduce a bill allowing same-sex marriages to be performed in Washington.
"It feels good," said Julie Verratti, 29, a D.C. resident law student who married her partner last year in California. "It's a step in the right direction."
Under the law, gay and lesbian couples married in other jurisdictions are afforded the same benefits and rights as other married people under D.C. law. The law recognizes legal, same-sex nuptials in other nations as well as an estimated 18,000 such marriages that took place in California - such as Verratti's - before voters there approved a gay marriage ban in November.
Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire allow same-sex marriage. New York recognizes gay marriages performed in other states.
During the congressional review period, some opponents of the D.C. legislation sought a referendum on the matter that was rejected by the D.C. elections board.
Opponents later filed a lawsuit against the city, challenging the elections board decision and seeking a stay on the bill's implementation. The suit was dismissed last month.
Source: SF Chronicle