article placeholder

Washington becomes seventh state to recognize same-sex marriages

Washington State's Gov. Christine Gregoire

Washington became the seventh state to allow same-sex marriage today after Gov. Christine Gregoire signed into law a bill that will allow full marriage rights to same-sex couples. New Hampshire, Iowa, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Vermont and the District of Columbia also allow same-sex marriage.

Gregoire called the law's passage “historic.”

“I commend our House members and thank Rep. Jamie Pedersen for sponsoring this bill,” Gregoire said last week. “Our legislators showed courage, respect, and professionalism. I look forward to signing this piece of legislation, and putting into law an end to an era of discrimination.”

article placeholder

Marriage equality: New Jersey, Washington, Maryland next?

Washington's Gov. Chris Gregoire

Proactive efforts got underway this month to allow gay couples to marry in at least three more states.

Democratic leaders in the New Jersey legislature announced Jan. 9 their intent to introduce a marriage equality bill. Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire (D), a long-time supporter of rights for same-sex couples, announced Jan. 4 that she would introduce such a bill in her state.

And in Maryland, where a marriage equality bill passed the state Senate but not the House in March 2011, Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) has said he will sponsor marriage legislation in 2012 and will take an active role in moving the bill forward this year. And Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) has indicated his chamber will shortly take action on such a measure.

article placeholder

D.C. gay marriage law survives legal challenge

The United States Supreme Court today refused to hear an appeal from opponents of marriage equality aiming to overturn the District of Columbia’s same-sex marriage law.

It was at least the second time in the last year that opponents have tried to overturn the Religious Freedom & Civil Marriage Equality Amendment Act through the Supreme Court. A similar challenge also failed in 2010.

The most recent challenge stems from a lawsuit filed by Bishop Harry Jackson against the Washington D.C. Board of Elections & Ethics after the board refused to put the question of same-sex unions before the district’s voters. The board said that such an initiative would permit discrimination.

article placeholder

NOM goes to Washington

The National Organization for Marriage hosted a rally in Washington, D.C., yesterday as part of the “Summer for Marriage Tour 2010.”

The stop in Washington was the group’s final location on its 23-city tour. NOM made a stop in Atlanta on Aug. 7.

The Washington Blade was on-hand to cover the D.C. rally and interviewed  Brian Brown, NOM’s executive director. Brown stressed the group’s mission was to maintain the “core definition” of a union between a man and a woman.

article placeholder

DADT pressure continues

North Carolina activists protest DADT in Washington

North Carolina group visits Washington to press for repeal of military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy

article placeholder

Couples say ‘I do’ in D.C.

WASHINGTON — Both smiles and tears of joy were in plentiful supply earlier this month as the nation’s capital became the latest jurisdiction in the United States to recognize same-sex marriage.

The District of Columbia’s Religious Freedom & Marriage Equality Amendment Act took effect on Wednesday, March 3, according to the DC Agenda, an LGBT media outlet. Couples who receive marriage licenses must wait three business days to wed, so with the weekend, March 9 was the first day for gay marriages in the district.