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DC To Begin Recognizing Out-of-State Same-Sex Marriages

The District of Columbia officially began recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states this morning. Congress had a 30 day review period after the bill was signed by DC Mayor Adrian Fenty to reject the measure. The review period expired early this morning, reported the Washington City Paper.

The Washington, DC City Council voted 12 to 1 in May to recognize same sex marriages performed out-of-state. The council had voted unanimously for the measure in a preliminary vote in April. Former DC Mayor and Councilmember Marion Barry, who supports same sex domestic partnership and marriage rights, but cast the sole vote against the bill, said after the May vote that “All hell is going to break loose….We may have a civil war. The black community is just adamant against this,” reported the Washington Post.

The Washington, DC Board of Elections and Ethics rejected a proposed referendum in June that would have allowed D.C. residents to vote on the bill. The board’s ruling (see PDF), found that the proposed referendum “would authorize discrimination prohibited by the DC Human Rights Act” and would “strip same-sex couples of the rights and responsibilities of marriage that they were afforded by virtue of entering into valid marriages elsewhere.” The DC Superior Court upheld the Board of Elections and Ethics’ decision on June 30.

Sources:

Washington City Paper 7/1/09; Washington Post 5/6/09; Feminist Daily News Wire 5/6/09, 6/17/09, 7/1/09

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