GLAA thanks Councilmembers for marriage recognition vote
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GLAA thanks Councilmembers for marriage recognition vote

From:Rick Rosendall
Sent:Tuesday, April 07, 2009 8:19 PM;;;;;;;;;;;;
Subject:GLAA thanks Councilmembers for marriage recognition vote

Dear D.C. Council Members:

On behalf of GLAA, I want to thank each of you for your vote on April 7 in support of an amendment to Bill 18-10 to recognize same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions as marriages in the District of Columbia. The unanimity you achieved in this historic moment is especially gratifying as we look to sustain this measure through any potential congressional reaction. Thanks also for voting to support the separate language in Bill 18-66 to recognize civil unions and domestic partners from other jurisdictions as domestic partners in D.C. We look forward to second readings on both bills on May 5.

As you know, there was a lot of discussion prior to Tuesday's Council meeting. The collective assessment was that recognizing marriages from other jurisdictions, while not without risk on Capitol Hill, was the logical next step toward our shared goal of civil marriage equality in the District. This is not our city’s first step toward marriage equality; many people have spent years laying the groundwork. It is, however, the crucial next step. Thank you for making it as forcefully as possible by your unanimity.

As we see whether and how Congress reacts to the marriage recognition amendment, either during the bill's congressional review period or during consideration of the D.C. Appropriations Bill, we will gain a better sense of where we stand. Our strategy for increasing the rights of same-sex couples in D.C. has worked remarkably well so far, through more than a dozen amendments increasing the rights and responsibilities of registered domestic partners. Considering the contrast between how controversial domestic partnerships were twenty years ago versus how accepted they are today — and as we look at the latest marriage-equality victories in Iowa and Vermont — we are confident that the trend of history is with us, notwithstanding occasional setbacks.

Special thanks to Councilmember Mendelson for his leadership on the recognition legislation, and to Chairman Gray for his leadership in uniting the Council. We look forward to continue working with you in the months and years ahead to protect all D.C. families. In the meantime, we hope you will join us for GLAA’s 38th anniversary awards reception at the Washington Plaza Hotel on Wednesday, April 22; invitations were mailed to you a few weeks ago, and details are available online at:

Warmest wishes,

Rick Rosendall
Vice President for Political Affairs
Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance