Mayor Adrian Fenty signed legislation on Wednesday, May 6, requiring D.C. to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions.
Mafara Hobson, Fenty’s director of communications, confirmed Tuesday that the mayor had signed the Disclosure to the United States District Court Act of 2009, passed May 5 by Council, 12-1. The measure is not subject to a 30-day congressional review period.
”The Mayor is confident that Congress will not interfere in the implementation of these laws and remains committed to marriage equality for all District residents,” Hobson said in a prepared statement.
Michael Crawford of DC for Marriage, a program of the D.C. Center fighting for marriage equality, says Fenty’s support — as well as the Council vote — is consistent with the commitments made to the GLBT community.
”I think it shows a firm commitment on the part of the elected representatives in the District for equality for all of the residents of the District, including gay and lesbian couples,” Crawford says.
Crawford says he’s hoping to see similar support from Congress.
”I think what we’re going to see is that some extremely conservative members of Congress will try to raise a hullabaloo about the issue, but I’m hoping that the Democratic majority will maintain focus on doing the job that the people elected them to do.”
Peter Rosenstein, president of Foundation for All D.C. Families and longtime gay activist, says he’s pleased by the news.
”I was anticipating the mayor would do it,” Rosenstein says. “When he ran for mayor, he committed at that time that he would sign any marriage bill that came to his desk. So I believed that he would keep that commitment and I was pleased to see that he did.”
Rosenstein says he’s optimistic about the legislation’s fate and that it’s time to start planning for full marriage equality in Washington.
”We have to gear up for the fight for marriage equality here in D.C., where we would allow people to get married here. That will probably be a more difficult fight, but it’s one that I think many of us are prepared to take on at this time.”