: News

Filed Under:

D.C. Council to Vote on Same-Sex Marriage

Play associated audio

By Patrick Madden

The "official" debate over gay marriage in the district is almost over. After months of heated hearings, failed attempts to put the issue before voters, and back and forth with local church groups, the D.C. council will take its first vote Tuesday on whether to let same-sex couples marry.

The district first entered the battle over gay rights in 1992, when it passed one of the country's first domestic partnership laws recognizing same-sex couples.

If the gay marriage bill passes, as expected, the district would become the sixth jurisdiction to allow gay marriage, and the first below the Mason-Dixon line.

"The city has always had this history of being a place where democracy is expanding," says local historian Bernard Dezmuk.

He says it dates back all the way to 1850, when the government banned the slave trade and D.C. served as a safe-haven for runaway slaves crossing the Potomac.

"It was also safe haven for Jews and for immigrants - such as Italians - that they could find a place where they where would be safe and they could work and live a dignified life."

Dezmuck says that tradition of expanding and protecting rights has continued over the years¦ the home rule charter in 1973, the contracting requirements for minorities in the eighties, and later on, the employment and housing protections for women and gays and lesbians.

The same-sex marriage bill will also face another District tradition: congressional interference. That 1992 domestic partnership bill¦ for ten years, congress refused to let the District fund it.

With democrats in control, the gay marriage bill seems to face better odds.

NPR

When Caravaggio Plays Quevedo In Tennis, The Court Becomes A Sonnet

"It's a little space, well-measured and precise, in which you have to keep the ball bouncing," says Álvaro Enrigue. His book, Sudden Death, pits the Italian painter against the Spanish poet.
WAMU 88.5

Does "Made in DC" Matter?

D.C.'s first bean-to-bar chocolate maker, Undone Chocolate, got its start in local food incubator space Union Kitchen, part of a wave of interest in locally made products which includes a push for a "Made in DC" logo.

WAMU 88.5

Does "Made in DC" Matter?

D.C.'s first bean-to-bar chocolate maker, Undone Chocolate, got its start in local food incubator space Union Kitchen, part of a wave of interest in locally made products which includes a push for a "Made in DC" logo.

NPR

Password Security Is So Bad, President Obama Weighs In

In unveiling a sweeping plan to fund and revamp cybersecurity, the president asks citizens to consider using extra layers of security besides the password.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.