DC Mayor Fenty Signs Marriage Bill; Ball in Congress’ Court

“D.C. for Marriage is elated that Mayor Adrian Fenty has signed the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Amendment Act of 2009, following the overwhelming vote in support of marriage equality by City Council on Tuesday. We are blessed to have the continuing strong and diverse support for marriage equality in Washington, D.C from Mayor Fenty, members of the Council, faith leaders, and residents.

“Having the right to legally marry will have an invaluable impact on gay and lesbian people and our families. Our work has always been about ensuring that every child and every parent in the District has the protection of full equality, so we can strengthen both our families and our community. We are excitedly looking forward to seeing the first couples and their joy as they are finally able to marry, here in the District.

“With today’s bill signing, the District has once again proven its long-time commitment to social justice and equality. We have boldly blazed a trail for the rest of the country by creating a coalition of support among clergy representing many different faiths, and residents of every race, ethnicity and origin in this majority African-American city. Together, we have ensured that the first jurisdiction in the South to make marriage equality law is our nation’s capital.

“As we now focus on defending marriage equality on Capitol Hill, we remain committed to our outreach and education efforts to unify the D.C. community. Our hope is that, as the federal government takes its first look at a local marriage equality measure, Members of Congress will respect the decision made by D.C.’s democratically elected government and not interfere with the enactment of the bill.

“At the same time, the discrimination-promoting groups who stripped marriage equality from our families in California and Maine now have their sights on D.C., and threaten to force a ballot initiative on same-sex marriage, along the lines of California’s Proposition 8 and Maine’s Question 1.

“In D.C., we believe all people and families should be treated equally. We disagree with outsiders who come into our city to advocate for discrimination against our friends and our neighbors. Their efforts will fail here.

“Mayor Fenty’s signing of the bill today may not end the fight, but we will triumph. In a matter of months, the work of so many of D.C.’s residents will culminate in full equality for all.”


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