Awww. Yay. So proud to be a DC citizen today (even if we do freak the eff out over snow):
Standing before a throng of activists and same-sex couples at the All Souls Unitarian Church in D.C.’s Ward 1, Mayor Adrian Fenty made history on Friday morning when he signed the city’s marriage equality legislation into law.
“We’ve set the tone for other jurisdictions to follow in creating an open and inclusive city,” Fenty said.
The D.C. Council voted to approve the bill on Tuesday. Fenty was joined at the signing by Council Chairman Vince Gray (D), Council members Jim Graham (D-Ward 1), Jack Evans (D-Ward 2), Muriel Bowswer (D-Ward 4), Harry Thomas, Jr. (D-Ward 5), Phil Mendelson (D-At large), and the bill’s author, David Catania (I-At large).
Inclusion was theme of the event, as several speakers brought up their own experiences with discrimination. Before signing the bill, Fenty introduced his parents, an interracial couple who he pointed out would not have been able to be legally married only 40 years ago. And after receiving an unusually warm welcome from his potential political rival, Gray stood and spoke about having attended a university that was largely still segregated.
But it was Graham who managed to sum up the feelings in the room.
“Thank God for this day. Thank God I lived to see this day,” he said.
Now that Fenty has signed the bill, it must be sent to Congress for a mandatory 30-day review period — and don’t forget that’s 30 legislative days. Even if all goes according to hopes and Congress doesn’t step in to prevent the law from being implemented, a conservative estimate for when the very first legally binding gay marriage ceremony might take place inside the city would be late February/early March. The District of Columbia would join only five other jurisdictions, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, Iowa and New Hampshire, that will be granting legal same-sex marriages in 2010. [Emphasis mine.]