D.C. Marriage Equality Bill to be Introduced Tuesday
A bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in the District of Columbia will be introduced Tuesday, the bill's sponsor, council member David Catania, said on Wednesday night:
"Catania made his announcement before 150 gay rights activists gathered in Shaw for a rally featuring the Rev. Eric P. Lee, president of the Los Angeles chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. 'We are going to do it now,' Catania told the crowd. 'We are going to do it now, not for ourselves, but for the young people who are 20 years-old, 16-years-old, 13-years-old.' According to a copy of the bill, the city code would be changed to state 'marriage is the legally recognized union of two people' and 'any person ... may marry any other eligible person regardless of gender.' Catania's bill, which states religious organizations and officials have the right not to participate in same-sex marriages, is expected to pass the council easily when it comes up for a vote around Thanksgiving. Ten of 13 council members will co-introduce Catania's bill Tuesday, and Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) has pledged to sign it. But the measure still would have to get past Congress, which can overturn District legislation under Home Rule. "
D.C. began recognizing same-sex marriages performed elsewhere on July 7 folowing passage of a bill earlier this year.