Update: In DC, final vote passed gay marriage bill 11-2
Washington PostThe only suspense in recent days has been about whether the council would consider amendments to try to assuage some of the concerns the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington has raise about the proposal.
*Update: DC Council passed gay marriage bill, 11-2, in the District of Columbia
"We are on the verge of history".
~ DC Council member David A Catania
Today, Tuesday December 15, the D.C. Council will hold its final vote on whether to legalize same-sex marriage in the District.
This will close the nearly year long debate over the legalization of gay marriage in the district of Columbia.
The bill is expected to receive the needed votes for its passage.
Most members of the 13-member council have said they will support the legislation. The vote is expected about midday. If the bill passes, it will be sent to Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D), who is expected to sign it before Christmas. The bill will become law this spring if, as expected, it survives a 30-day congressional review period.
"We are on the verge of history," council member David A. Catania (I-At Large), the lead sponsor of the bill, told about 350 same-sex marriage supporters at a pre-vote rally Monday night in Shaw. "For the world to see gays and lesbian couples equal to straight couples in the nation's capital, that is an important message."
Council member Harry Thomas Jr. (D-Ward 5), who also addressed the crowd, said the council is poised to send a signal to the nation that "this is a human rights issue for justice and equality."
"I will stand with you until the day I die," Thomas said. Earlier this year, he wasn't sure whether he would vote for the bill. But two weeks ago, he joined 10 of his colleagues to give tentative approval to the same-sex marriage bill by a vote of 11 to 2. An identical vote total is expected Tuesday.