Washington DC’s council will today vote on a bill allowing gay marriage in the district.

Advocates are quietly confident, as nine of the council’s 13 members are listed as co-sponsors and mayor Adrian Fenty has clearly signalled he will sign it.

Today’s vote will be the final one on the bill and it will then go to Fenty for approval.

It must then be approved by Congress during a 30-day review. Observers have said it is likely the Democrat-controlled Congress will approve it, which could make gay marriage legal by late January.

An estimated 400 supporters attended a rally last night in the city at the Shaw Centre.

Councilmen Harry Thomas and David Catania were applauded as they addressed the crowd.

Catania urged supporters not to hold the two dissenting votes against Councilman Marion Barr and Councilwoman Yvette Alexander. Both said their ‘no’ votes reflected their constituents’ wishes.

Catania said: “I want to thank the two who are not with us. Not because they are not with us now. But because they have been with us so often on so many other issues.”