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District of Columbia

Dozens apply for licenses as same-sex marriage becomes legal in D.C.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010
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At least 50 same-sex couples lined up to apply for marriage licenses when city offices opened Wednesday as gay marriage became legal in the nation’s capital.

Gwen Migita, left, and Cuc Vu, at D.C. SUperior Court Wednesday to apply for a marriage license. (Washington Post photo.)

Cheering erupted from the crowd when the first couple signed in at the city’s marriage bureau just blocks from the U.S. Capitol.

By just before noon Wednesday, about 100 couples had come to the bureau, and about 40 had completed applications. Each couple is leaving the bureau to a round of applause from the crowd.

Because of a mandatory waiting period of three business days, however, couples won’t actually be able to marry in the District of Columbia until Tuesday.

The gay marriage law was introduced to the 13-member D.C. Council in October and had near-unanimous support from its inception. The bill passed and D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty signed it in December.

But because Washington is a federal district, the law had to undergo a congressional review period that expired Tuesday.

Opponents have tried numerous attempts to get a referrendum on the ballot to force a vote on the measure, but it has been repeatedly rejected by the Elections Board, citing it would violate the city’s Human Rights Act.

On Tuesday, The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a request to block the District’s gay marriage law from taking effect; opponents, however, are still attempting to overturn the bill in court.

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