A Statement from NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter

(Washington, D.C., December 15, 2009) — Today, in a final vote of 11-2, the Washington, D.C. City Council passed legislation to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage. The bill, championed by City Councilmember David A. Catania, first sailed through the Council with overwhelming support on December 1. Mayor Adrian Fenty has pledged to sign the bill immediately. Next, the bill heads to Capitol Hill for a 30-day legislative review period. If Congress declines to interfere with the Council’s actions, the bill will become law and provide same-sex couples with the freedom to marry.

A statement from Shannon Minter, Legal Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights:

“We commend marriage equality bill champion Councilmember David Catania and the District of Columbia City Council, and applaud the tremendous efforts of the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, D.C. and the many who worked to end discrimination against same-sex couples in marriage. As a nation, we are seeing incredible momentum in favor of full legal equality for same-sex couples and their families. The District joins Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont in eliminating discriminatory marriage bans.

We now call on Congress to honor the Council’s actions as the elected representatives of the people of the District of Columbia, and to respect equality for LGBTQ families.”

The National Center for Lesbian Rights is a national legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education.