The DC City Council today gave final approval to legislation that will extend marriage equality to same-sex couples. Mayor Adrian Fenty has promised to sign the law, which will go into effect after the Congressional review period has elapsed.
People For the American Way President Michael B. Keegan issued the following statement:
"Today’s vote is a major step forward for equality and a proud day for all the residents of the District of Columbia. At long last, same-sex couples will be allowed the same protections and responsibilities that straight couples have always enjoyed.
"This vote wouldn’t be possible without the years of hard work by activists from every ward in the city. Today’s legislation is supported by people of every race and religion. I am especially proud of the many clergy members who spoke out in favor of equality as a core value that all of us share.
"Unfortunately, some of our opponents attempted to stop this legislation with lies and distortions about what the bill contains. To be clear: churches will always be free to choose which marriages they choose to bless, and preachers will always be allowed to speak out on any topic they choose.
"Our opponents have also indicated that they will go to Congress in an attempt to overturn the decision of the Council. That would be a gross injustice. Congress should not be meddling in the affairs of the District. Washington, D.C. resident have a right to govern themselves, and asking Congress to step in and overturn the decision of our elected representatives is an insult to all those who have sacrificed to secure the right to vote for all people.
"I look forward to this legislation becoming law in the very near future. Today’s vote is a victory for religious liberty, for equality, and for the American Way. Congratulations."