Cheers erupted in the council chambers after the vote was approved 11-2.
The bill now heads to D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty’s for his signature — thhe mayor has promised to sign the bill.
“Today is the final step in a long march toward equality in the District of Columbia,” said At-Large Councilmember Phil Mendelson, who shepherded the bill through the D.C. Council.
Congress, which has final say over Washington’s laws, could reject it, but Democratic leaders have suggested they are reluctant to do so. If Congress takes no action, gay couples could begin marrying as early as March.
The bill sponsored by openly gay Councilman David Catania had been expected to pass easily.
Ten of the 13 council members supported its introduction. Only Councilman Marion Barry and Councilwoman Yvette Alexander voted against the bill. Both have said their vote reflects the wishes of their constituents.