The DC Council’s Committee on Public Safety and Judiciary approved a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in the nation’s Capital yesterday, advancing it to a full Council vote in December. The Religious Freedom & Civil Marriage Equality Amendment Act of 2009 (see PDF) passed by a vote of 4 to 1 with Council member Yvette Alexander (D-Ward 7) opposed, reports the Washington Post.
The bill was originally written by Council member David Catania (I-At Large) and co-introduced by ten of the city’s 13 Council members last month, according to the Washington Blade. The committee revised the bill to expand a provision allowing religious organizations to refuse to provide services for same-sex marriage ceremonies. The new version alters a provision addressing domestic partnerships and removes language that originally stipulated that domestic partnerships would be phased out once same-sex marriage is allowed. If it passes, DC will be the only place in the country where same-sex couples can choose to marry or enter a domestic partnership, according to the Washington Post.
The Council is expected to pass the bill in its final December vote and DC Mayor Adrian Fenty has stated he will sign it, reports the Washington Blade. Once signed by Fenty, the bill would undergo a thirty-day review by Congress.