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Same-sex marriage is coming to the District

You probably didn't hear this late last week, but a motion was denied to block Washington's same-sex marriage law from going into effect at the conclusion of Congress's 30-day legislative review period. That means in six days -- March 3 -- same-sex couples in the District will be able to legally wed. Washington would become the sixth jurisdiction to permit gay marriage and the first below the Mason-Dixon Line.

City Councilman David Catania (I-At Large) deserves the credit for devising the strategy to make it possible. Before going for full marriage equality, he got his colleagues on the City Council last year to pass and the mayor to sign a law recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions. And it could be a model one-two strategy to legalize gay nuptials in other states. Just yesterday Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler (D) said that the Free State will immediately begin recognizing same-sex marriages performed elsewhere.

This is significant for two reasons. First, gay families, particularly those in the District, can now think of relocating to Maryland. It also means that Maryland potentially has begun the road to full marriage equality. It'll take time. But it won't take too long for folks there to realize the sky won't fall because married gays and lesbians live next door.

By Jonathan Capehart  | February 25, 2010; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Comments

The only thing in Washington that works. Obama bends on issues such as DADT he makes one think of a male you know what.
This puritan nation is stuck over 100 years behing Europe, etc.
Also no inflation? Well look at the reduced size, not prices, of your groceries......

Posted by: gany1 | February 25, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Good news, albeit in small steps. Congrats to all those who will benefit.

Posted by: Itzajob | February 25, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

The information above about the March 3rd date is simply incorrect. This law will not go into effect until after Congress has completed its 30-legislative-day review period, which is likely not to be until March 24th or 25th. I think this earlier March 3rd date was initially presumed to be correct, but it doesn't take into account the holidays or the days Congress was unable to meet because of the snowstorms.

I spoke with the Federal Workforce Subcommittee earlier today and they told me they will be informing the Council of the correct date on which that 30-legislative-day period will end. Until then, the current law is still in effect and no marriage licenses can be legally issued to same-sex couples. Feel free to verify that with the Workforce Subcommittee.

Posted by: klgrube | February 26, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Karen, Karen, Karen... your bigotry is like untreated syphilis, it rots the brains.

Of course the March 3rd date accounts for weekends, holidays, snow days, etc. But don't worry your little, small-minded self over this, the District is on it, see, even they know when it starts:

http://lgbt.dc.gov/lgbt/cwp/view,a,3,q,554354,lgbtNav,%7C32273%7C.asp

Now get yourself back to your NOM hate group. You are more than welcome to believe whatever you want about the LGBT community, you just won't be able to discriminate as you please.

Posted by: bobbarnes | February 27, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Sorry bobbarnes, I called the Federal Workforce Subcommittee myself on Friday, and they tell me that the 30-day legislative review period is not going to be over until closer to March 24th or March 25th. They did say that they will take the time to calculate the exact anticipated date and let the Council know, but that the new date will definitely include the snow storm closures.

Please feel free to call them yourself and check the facts before you comment. This is a simple question of fact, Bobbarnes, not of opinion.

Posted by: klgrube | February 27, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Bobbarnes, I did read the link you provided, and it indicates that the March 3rd date is "subject to change pending completion of 30-day congressional review." That's all I'm saying. Nothing different, only that they have a better target date at this point, and that they will be providing the Council with that information, but that it is more likely to be around March 24th or 25th. Those are their words, not mine.

Gosh, Bobbarnese, it truly would be helpful for you to check your facts first and fully quote your souces of information accurately. I'm doing the best I can to do just that.

Posted by: klgrube | February 27, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Karen, oh gosh, by golly what minimum wage clerk did you speak to, exactly?

The bill was signed December 17, 2009, delivered on the Hill January 5th. If you start on the 6th, and not counting weekends or MLK Birthday, you'll have 17 days. In February not counting W.E. or the week of the 15th and snow days, you have 11 days. In March, you have the 1st and the 2nd.

Let's see, 17+10+2=30 I'd appreciate you getting your math skills in order before you call yourself accurate.

Yep, I saw the asterisk, subject to change is correct... we could have had a snow storm this past week or this upcoming Monday, hence a change in the 30 day review.

Congressional Calendar here: http://majoritywhip.house.gov/index.cfm?a=Files.Serve&File_id=f6754041-1267-40ce-925c-eed06ac8fdb9

DC bill history here:
http://www.dccouncil.washington.dc.us/lims/searchbylegislation.aspx Enter B18-482 into the search field.

Posted by: bobbarnes | February 27, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Oh and Karen, since you're in this streak of getting things wrong...

The D.C. Court of Appeals Friday denied a request by a Maryland minister for an injunction to block the city’s same-sex marriage law from taking effect March 3, ending the last potential obstacle to the start of gay nuptials the following week.

In a unanimous decision, Associate Judges Noel Kramer and Phyllis Thompson and Senior Judge John Steadman upheld a ruling last week by a D.C. Superior Court judge denying the injunction on grounds that it failed to meet the minimum requirements for such an action.

And Karen, here's what important for you to know. I'll type slowly....

The three-judge appeals court panel also held that Jackson and others who have joined him in requesting the injunction failed to show that allowing the marriage law to take effect would cause them “irreparable harm.”

Why did this injunction fail?

Superior Court Judge Brian Holeman ruled that Bishop Harry Jackson, pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, Md., could not show that there was “substantial likelihood” that his underlying lawsuit seeking to overturn the same-sex marriage law through a voter referendum would succeed.

---------------

What's next... usually your ilk turn to violence?

Posted by: bobbarnes | February 27, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

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