The Washington D.C. Council gave its
final approval to recognize legal gay marriages performed in other
states and countries Tuesday, reports the AP.
Former Mayor Marion Barry stood alone
in opposing the bill, which passed on a vote 12 to 1.
Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, a Democrat, has
said he will sign the bill into law.
Under Home Rule any laws passed by the
District are subject to a 30-day review period by the U.S. Congress.
Despite his opposing vote, Barry called
himself a “friend” to the gay community.
“It has been a very agonizing and
difficult decision,” Barry said. “I feel comfortable with this
position because I know where my heart is … I am representing my
constituents. I have thought about it a lot and I have been a friend
of [the gay] community and will continue to be a friend of this
The bill recognizes out-of-state
marriages performed in states that recognize gay marriage. Backers
say it is the first step towards legalizing gay marriage in the
“This is the march towards human
rights and equality,” openly gay Councilperson David A. Catania
(Independent at large) told city leaders last month. “It is not
the march towards special rights ... and that march is coming here.”
Gay marriage is legal in seven mostly
European countries – Canada, South Africa, the Netherlands, Sweden,
Norway, Spain and Belgium – and in four mostly New England U.S.
states – Massachusetts, Vermont, Iowa and Connecticut.