(March 10, 2010) – Since same-sex marriage became a reality last week in the District of Columbia, excited couples have prepared to make their way to the altar, embarking on a union that is still prohibited in most states and jurisdictions. To date, just five other states, including Massachusetts and Iowa, allow such marriages.

Mayor Adrian Fenty signed the District’s bill legalizing same-sex unions late last year, and after its enactment on March 3, employees in the District of Columbia Superior Court’s room 4485 began processing license applications. In doing so, an historic milestone was struck for members of the local gay and lesbian community.

“I’m very pleased and very excited for all the couples who have been married, and I wish them all the best,” said At-large Councilman David Catania, who introduced the District’s gay marriage legislation.

Catania is one of two gay members of the city council. The other is Ward 1 representative Jim Graham.

“This is a great step forward in progress,” Catania continued.

Graham was present at the three ceremonies held Tuesday at the Human Rights Campaign headquarters building in downtown Washington. The weddings attracted some 100 onlookers and another gay couple reportedly said their vows at the courthouse.

Graham said that as a whole, the three separate events he witnessed were among the most uplifting experiences he’s encountered.

“To have seen the expressions of commitment and love was very heartwarming,” he said.
Graham said however, that he has a lot of respect for places that are still grappling with legalizing gay marriages.

“I think we’re just going to have to adopt a live-and-let-live attitude on that,” he said. “Let’s celebrate our differences but find common ground as we continue getting things done in the city.”

So far, more than 150 gay couples have paid the $35 fee and lined up for marriage licenses. They have to wait three days from the issuance of their license to exchange vows.

 

DorothyRowley

AFROStaffWriter