Today the District of Columbia began accepting marriage applications for same-sex couples, after Chief Justice John Roberts denied a last-minute request to stop the District’s same sex marriage law from taking effect. Washington D.C. became the sixth U.S. jurisdiction to allow same-sex couples to marry after the D.C. Council overwhelmingly passed the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Act of 2009 and Congress, during its 30 day review period, did not act to overturn it.
Opponents of marriage equality have made desperate attempts in recent weeks halt the implementation of the District’s new marriage equality law, but the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics, the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, the D.C. Court of Appeals, the federal District Court for the District of Columbia, and Chief Justice Roberts rejected their challenges. The National Center for Lesbian Rights issued the following statement:
A statement from Kate Kendell, Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights:
“It truly is an historic day to see loving and committed couples receive marriage licenses in our nation’s capital. Marriage equality in the District of Columbia marks another step in the direction of fairness and equality, and it is only a matter of time until the freedom to marry will be secure for all lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. I urge our national leaders to pause and witness this moment. These couples have waited so long to have their relationships treated equally under the law. It is time for that same equality to be reflected in our federal laws. We congratulate Mayor Fenty, the D.C. Council, and our partners in the Campaign for All D.C. Families who have worked tirelessly to bring marriage equality to the District of Columbia. We are deeply grateful for their commitment to ensuring the freedom to marry for all.”