The District of Columbia is set to consider a bill that would make it easier for gay and lesbian couples to divorce in the municipality, gay weekly the Washington Blade reported.

The bill, introduced in October by D.C. Council member Phil Mendelson, would allow an out-of-state gay couple married in the District to divorce there without one or both parties becoming residents of the District.

The District legalized gay marriage in 2009. The law allows out-of-state gay couples to marry in the District. However, divorcing in a state that does not recognize such unions can be complicated. Currently, only residents can dissolve their D.C. marriage through the District's courts.

At a December 8 hearing, gay activist Bob Summersgill testified that the legislation was needed so long as other states refuse to recognize the marriages of gay and lesbian couples.

“In order to maintain basic dignity for couples married in the District, and unable to divorce in their home state, this bill is necessary,” he said.

“If we offer civil marriage, we must offer civil divorce.”

The proposed law has the support of 8 of the council's 13 members, who are expected to vote on the bill in early 2012.