Same-sex couples are one step closer to having their unions recognized in the nation's capital.
The Washington City Council voted unanimously in favor of recognizing marriages in other states. The 12-0 vote came the same day that Vermont became the fourth state to legalize same-sex marriage, joining Connecticut, Massachusetts and Iowa.
The bill, which must be approved in a second-reading vote slated for May 5, says, “A marriage legally entered into in another jurisdiction between two persons of the same sex that is recognized as valid in that jurisdiction, that is not expressly prohibited by [the city’s existing marriage law] shall be recognized as a marriage in the District,” the amendment says.
D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty, a longtime supporter of same-sex marriage rights, is expected to sign the bill if it clears the second vote. But before becoming law, the bill also must clear a required review by Congress for a period of 30 legislative days, which sometimes takes as long as 60 calendar days.
Domestic partnerships are legal in Washington but Tuesday's vote recognizes weddings of gay couples married in U.S. states.
Council member David Catania, who is gay, lauded the D.C. vote as "the march toward human rights and equality."