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Washington DC mayor signs gay marriage bill

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  1. “The move will make DC the sixth US state to grant full marriage equality to gays and lesbians.”

    Washington DC is not a state.

  2. Jean-Paul Bentham 18 Dec 2009, 8:52pm

    Here is how this wonderful news was reported in The Advocate:

  3. David in Indy 18 Dec 2009, 11:06pm

    This is wonderful news! However, I can’t help but feel it will not last long. Washington D.C. is largely African American. I strongly suspect this will – if passed – be brought to a referendum and voted down. I hope I am wrong about this, but this could easily become another “California” or “Maine”. African Americans are overwhelmingly against gay marriage and gay rights. I don’t think they will be very pleased about same sex marriage in D.C.

  4. David: It doesn’t matter what straight people think. The Ethics Board blocked a referendum from happening, as it violates the city’s human rights laws.

  5. David in Indy 19 Dec 2009, 12:50am

    I didn’t realize that Kevin. Thanks for the info! Let’s just hope it makes it through Congress without any complaints.

    This makes me wonder though, why the Ethics Boards in states such as California and Maine didn’t step in and issue similar blocks? Thanks in part to former President Bush, we cannot depend on the U.S Supreme Court to protect us from discrimination since the court is now tipped in favor of the conservatives. Without these Ethics Boards it seems we have little chance of same-sex marriage passing in additional states, or at least the more conservative states like my home state of Indiana.

  6. I wouldn’t be too pessimistic about the U.S. Supreme Court, David. Every pro-gay rights case that has wound up in front of the Court has gone in our favor, thus far. There may be 5 conservatives on the Court, but they’re not blind to what the issues really mean. For instance, the Court decriminalized sodomy, 6-3.

    What really matters when it comes to the SCOTUS is how good of a case is presented to them, and currently, we have the top conservative attorney in the nation and the top liberal attorney in the nation, both working together on a case for gay marriage. The SCOTUS will definitely want to hear what they have to say on the issue.

    When it comes to individual states, only 3 of them allow ballot referendums on state Supreme Court rulings (California, Hawaii, and Alaska). The best thing we can do right now is to bombard the individual state courts with lawsuits.

    If a great case for gay marriage reached the Supreme Court of your state, for instance, the state Court could strike down the statute that Indiana currently has barring gay couples from marrying as unconstitutional.

  7. Robert, ex pat Brit 19 Dec 2009, 3:20pm

    This bill will be finalised, its not going to fail. Congratulations to Washington, DC. Why isn’t London doing the same? If Portugal is about to do it, then there’s no excuse why other western countries can’t, especially the UK.

  8. Go, Washington! And the mayor is a real dish.

  9. Aussie Gay Activist Paul Mitchell 20 Dec 2009, 4:00am

    Go DC! Hope it survives the 30 day Congress review period.

    I wish conservatives consentrate on their presents at Christmas time at home and shut up about gay marriage – such as getting laid in a public toilet with another male and say “I am not gay” (eg Larry Craig).

    Even now I know Australia (and the southerm part of the US) is still well and truly deeply stuck in the 1950’s with Kevin Rudd “the Dudd” not allowing gay marriage back here in Australia.

    Iceland (both Norway and Sweden already have gay marriage) will be next in line for gay marriage in Febuary 2010, followed by Portugal (March 2010), Luxembourg (April 2010), Solvenia and Solvakia (October 2010), Albania (December 2010), the US state of Washington, New Jersey and then state of New York (on 1 January 2011).

    The 3 US states of California, Maine, Oregon in 2012 will have gay marriage on their ballots again – and this time people will APPROVE of gay marriage I just know.

    My own country Australia will not have gay marriage until 2022, I expect with my own predictions.

    Same sex marriage will be allowed in the last two US states of Utah and Texas in 2100 (when all other 48 states will allow them in 2080).

  10. Aussie Gay Activist Paul Mitchell 20 Dec 2009, 4:07am


    Omit –

    “The move will make DC the sixth US state to grant full marriage equality to gays and lesbians”

    Replace with –
    “The move will make DC the first territory of the US state to grant full marriage equality to gays and lesbians and join five other states…”

    Add next to that –

    “DC is a capital territory not a state”

    Omit –

    “California voters repealed the right last November”

    Replace with –

    “California voters back in November 2008 repealed the right for gay marriages to continue, however the 18,000 marriages are uphold and the state recognises them”

  11. Aussie, I doubt it will take that long with the United States. With my knowledge of how things work in this country, I can confidently say that all 50 states will allow gay marriage by 2015, if not sooner than that.

    At the beginning of the decade, only 20% of Americans supported the right of gay couples to legally marry. Now, that number is hovering around 48%. This is a huge improvement, made in part by how pissed off gay Americans are about the state of affairs within our borders.

    But at the end of the day, it’s not going to matter whether public sentiment is in our favor or not, as it will be the court system that legalizes this, not the people (thank God).

    Only 3 U.S. states allow ballot referendums on state Supreme Court rulings (California, Hawaii, and Alaska). The reason Maine allowed a referendum was because it was the state legislature that chose to legalize gay marriage, as opposed to the state Supreme Court. Bringing this issue to the Court of Maine easily rectifies this, as the Court would probably rule in our favor.

    The real shining light is the U.S. Supreme Court. There is currently a federal case for gay marriage advancing through the court system. This case is being headed by the top conservative attorney in the nation, as well as the top liberal attorney in the nation, who are both working to bring this to the U.S. Supreme Court (this particular case refers to the California ban enacted last year). The U.S. Supreme Court will definitely want to hear this case, and it will most likely reach them within the next 2-4 years.

    Even though the Court is made up of five conservatives and four liberals, they do know the Constitution in and out, regardless of party affiliation. This same court (minus Sotomayor, but she is a liberal who replaced another liberal, anyway) has ruled in favor of both gay rights cases that have wound up before it (particularly the case in which sodomy laws were struck down 6-3 in 2003). The Court cares less about partisanship than it does about constitutional law; what really matters is how good of a case is presented to them — and again, we have the top conservative attorney in the nation on our side.

    If the Supreme Court finds Proposition 8 unconstitutional, which it blatantly is, then not only would the California ban be struck down, but all state bans on gay marriage would be struck down, as well. It would be a decision akin to Loving vs. Virginia, in which the Supreme struck down bans on interracial couples from marrying against public sentiment (70% of Americans were against interracial marriage in 1967).

    In the meantime, we will probably go through the state courts, and rack up as many states as we can before this heads to the SCOTUS.

    This will probably be legal nationwide in a few years.

  12. The complexity of the United States federal system. The difference between the nations that passed these same sex marriage laws is the unitary system were the central goverment passed legislation take precedence over local procedures. The United States is made up 50 autonomous or semi autonomous sub divisions which the own state judicial laws. The only country close to it is Canada which has a form of a semi-federal system and probably Spain to a lesser degree.

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