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
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
“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