Gay & Lesbian D.C. Couples Apply for Licenses in Anticipation of Marriage Equality
by Bruce-Michael Gelbert |
photo courtesy of the www.thetaskforce.org
(left to right) National Gay & Lesbian Task Force board member Hans Johnson and then-board member Jerry Clark with D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty and Task Force Deputy Executive Director Darlene Nipper just after the mayor signed D.C.’s marriage equality bill in December 2009.
Same sex marriage becomes legal in Washington, D.C., the nation's capital, on March 10 and, in anticipation, gay and lesbian couples began applying for marriage licenses on March 3, the day that the new Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Amendment Act took effect, according to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. In mid-December, 2009, the D.C. Council passed the amendment act, by a vote of 12 to 1, and D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty signed it into law.
Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey released a statement saying, "This is a profoundly moving moment for many D.C. same-sex couples and their families. To finally be able to share and celebrate one's love and commitment both publicly and legally is a lifelong dream for many. Until you have walked in the shoes of someone who has been denied the right to exercise such a fundamental freedom, it is hard to comprehend the emotional depth and significance of this experience for so many couples in Washington, D.C."
In another recent development in the region, Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler issued a legal opinion, shortly before, that same sex marriages, performed in jurisdictions where they are legal, would be recognized by Maryland state agencies.