A promised, nearly certain to be approved, gay marriage bill is expected to be introduced Tuesday in Washington D.C., the bill's sponsor, councilman David A. Catania (I-At Large), announced Wednesday.

The openly gay lawmaker revealed his plans during a speech to 150 gay activists at the Call for Action Convocation for Marriage Equality, a discussion on how to secure the right to marry for gay and lesbian couples in the District.

“We are going to do it now,” Catania told the crowd, The Washington Post reported. “We are going to do it now, not for ourselves, but for the young people who are 20-years-old, 16-years-old, 13-years-old.”

The bill, titled the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Amendment Act of 2009, would change the definition of marriage to say that “marriage is the legally recognized union of two people” and “any person who otherwise meets the eligibility requirements … may marry any other eligible person regardless of gender.”

While the bill's approval is all but certain, it won't be painless – if last spring's fight for a gay marriage recognition bill is any indication. Gay marriage supporters won that round and gay couples married outside the District are recognized by the government.

Opponents, however, might be down but don't count them out. They continue to pursue a ballot initiative that would ban gay marriage in the District. The one sentence initiative says, “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid and recognized in the District of Columbia.”

Gay marriage backers will also need the approval of Congress, which under Home Rule has the final say on laws approved by the city council.

Catania says he has spoken with the White House about the issue.

“We are not asking the White House to change its position on marriage equality – the discussion with the White House is about supporting local home rule,” Catania told reporters. “Everyone knows where the president is on this issue, but we also know the president has high regard for home rule and local autonomy. And on those grounds we believe the White House should work with us in defending the actions of the local government.”