Washington, D.C. mayor Adrian M. Fenty signed the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Amendment Act of 2009 today, which extends marriage protections to the District’s same-sex couples. The D.C. City Council approved the bill in a vote on Tuesday with 11 members in favor of marriage equality and 2 opposed. The bill will now be sent to Capitol Hill for a 30-day congressional review. The Associated Press reported early Friday that D.C.'s same-sex couples could begin to marry as soon as March 2010, but noted that opponents plan on fighting the new legislation. GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios celebrated the historic legislation in a statement released on Friday:
Today Mayor Adrian M. Fenty brings Gay and lesbian people in our nation’s capitol one step closer to the vital legal protections that marriage affords and which all loving and committed couples deserve. This historic bill signing affirms the love and commitment of gay and lesbian couples in the District and reflects the growing support for protecting people equally under the law.
GLAAD sends our heartfelt appreciation to DC For Marriage, Campaign for All DC Families, and the organizations and couples whose personal stories moved this legislation forward. We urge media reporting on this issue to focus on the many faith communities who support marriage equality and the couples whose love and commitment is at the heart of this milestone bill.GLAAD will continue to follow the media’s coverage of marriage equality in the nation’s Capitol. Updates can be found on GLAADblog.org