Washington D.C. council has voted to recognize gay marriages performed in states where those marriages are legal.
This law must first be signed by the mayor and then approved by Congress before it can take effect. This could be a test of where congress sits on this issue.
The vote is considered the first step toward eventually allowing gay marriages to be performed in Washington. Congress, which has final say over the city’s laws, will get 30 days to review the bill assuming Democratic Mayor Adrian Fenty, a supporter, signs it.
If Congress takes no action, the bill will become law automatically. President Barack Obama and congressional leaders have not signaled where they stand on the D.C. bill. Obama generally supports civil unions but has said marriage is between a man and a woman.
It seems that attitudes about gay marriage are changing in America as seen in this recent ABC/WaPo poll. For the first time, more people support than oppose gay marriage:
The ball is rolling and is gathering momentum.
Also, Maine’s senate and house have both voted to allow gay marriage.
“The country is watching us, to see how a small proud, independent state will stand on issue of equality,” said Rep. Sean Flaherty of Scarborough, who supported the bill.
The State Senate, which is also controlled by Democrats, approved the bill last week in a 21 to 14 vote. The vote was mostly along party lines, though one Democrat opposed the bill and one Republican voted in favor. The body must now give final approval to the bill.
But while the measure sailed through both chambers of the legislature in less than a week, Gov. John Baldacci, a Democrat, could still veto it. Mr. Baldacci opposed same-sex marriage before the bill was introduced this year, but he has since said he is keeping an open mind.