The Washington, D.C., City Council agreed Tuesday that same-sex marriage should be legal in the nation's capital.
"Today is the final step in this long march," Council Member Phil Mendelson said following the overwhelming 11-2 vote.
Actually, there are two more steps before the measure becomes law. First, Mayor Adrian Fenty must sign the bill, which should not be a problem since he has been a strong proponent of same-sex marriage. Then, once the bill is signed into law, Congress has a month to intervene before it would take effect. It is unlikely, however, that the Democratic majority on Capitol Hill would block the bill.
Over the next month, Washington will likely join Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont and Iowa in allowing legal same-sex marriages. A law legalizing gay marriage in New Hampshire takes effect Jan. 1. Lawmakers in Maine approved legalized same-sex marriages this year, but voters in the state last month passed a referendum to overturn the new law. The New York state Senate defeated a bill last week that would have legalized gay marriages. A similar bill stalled last week in New Jersey's state Senate.