News (USA)

DC Council moves closer to legalizing gay marriage

DC Gay MarriageWashington D.C. is poised to become the next battleground for gay marriage as the D.C. Council moves a step closer to legalizing same-sex unions.

D.C. City Council member David Catania (I-At Large) is expected to introduce a bill to allow same-sex marriages to be performed in the District before month’s end, according to sources familiar with Catania’s plans.

The bill, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Post, would amend the law to say “marriage is the legally recognized union of two people” and that “any person who otherwise meets the eligibility requirements … may marry any other eligible person regardless of gender.”

Catania, one of two openly gay members of the D.C. Council, said he had 10 co-sponsors, all but assuring passage, the Post reported Friday.

If it becomes law, the bill would eliminate domestic partnerships, although couples already registered could either keep their partnership or convert it for free to a city-sanctioned marriage, beginning in 2011.

In May, the council approved a bill in recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states, and members of the U.S. Congress from both parties largely steered clear of the issue. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was quoted as saying at the time that the District should be treated like a state.

Same-sex marriage is legal in four states — Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa and Vermont. They will be legal in New Hampshire in January. In Maine, the state legislature has approved same-sex marriage, but a referendum will be held on the measure in November.

More at The Washington Post

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