Washington, DC Legalizes Marriage Equality

By: Jennifer
Chrisler, Executive Director, Family Equality

On Wednesday,
Washington, DC joined Connecticut, Iowa, New Hampshire,
Massachusetts and Vermont as the sixth jurisdiction with full
marriage equality. The City Council passed the bill with
overwhelming support last fall, and it was signed by Mayor Fenton
in December 2009. Following the 90-day mandatory congressional
review period, the bill became law. The first same sex marriages in
the District will be performed on March 9, 2010.

At Family
Equality Council, we are thrilled for the nearly 4,000 LGBT-headed
families who live in Washington, DC, and most importantly their
children, who can now access the critical legal and social
recognition full marriage equality brings. Even as we celebrate,
however, about 70% of children being raised by LGBT parents live in
states without these protections. Our organization will continue to
ensure the stories of real families are heard until the hearts and
minds of our national leaders who live in the District, working,
socializing, and raising children alongside thousands of LGBT
families every day, follow the lead of the District and send the
message to our entire nation that ALL families are

fight for full marriage equality in Washington, DC does not end
with the passage of this bill. Opponents are working to force a
2010 ballot initiative banning marriage equality in the District.
Family Equality Council is proud to be a member of the “Campaign
for All DC Families Coalition,” the group that secured marriage
equality in DC and is now defending it in court. The group has
filed a brief on behalf of LGBT families to ensure that the bill
remains law.  

It is
more important than ever for LGBT families to share their
stories (share your story with FEC here) and to write to lawmakers in
Washington so that someday soon, all children being raised in LGBT
families can live in states where their family is protected and
granted equality under the law.

on a very personal note, I want to congratulate the many DC couples
who will be able to enjoy that very special public celebration with
government sanctioned recognition.  I have been privileged to
enjoy that same status as a legally married Massachusetts resident
and I was amazed at how, despite years of being together and years
of commitment, the ability to LEGALLY marry had a profound
emotional impact on me.  I am thrilled that so many will have the
chance to experience the gift I received almost six years ago in