According to the Census Bureau's 2005-2007 data, there are 3,839 same-sex
couples in Washington DC. In 2005, there were an estimated 33,000 gay, lesbian
and bisexual adults in the District. They comprised about 8.1% of the total
Prior to 2009, Washington DC provided domestic partnerships for both same-sex and
On 2009-APR-07, the city council approved unanimously a resolution to
recognize legal SSMs that had been performed outside the District. On 2009-MAY-05, the resolution received its second reading and was passed 12
to 1. Because of the unique status of the District of Columbia, the implementation
of resolutions passed
by the city council are delayed by 30 working days to allow Congress to review and
possibly veto them. No such veto occurred, and so the resolution became effective on 2009-JUL-07
at 12:01 AM.
A group of religious conservatives held anti-SSM rallies and asked the city Board of Elections and Ethics to conduct a referendum to veto the
recognition of out-of-state SSMs. On 2009-NOV-17, the referendum request
was rejected because it did not meet the legal requirements. Referenda that introduce discrimination based on race, gender, religion or certain other criteria are not allowed in the District.
On 2009-DEC-01, the city council voted to legalize SSM in Washington DC by a
vote of 11 to 2. They voted again on DEC-15 with the same 11 to 2 result.
On 2009-DEC-18, as promised, Mayor Adrian M, Fenty (D) signed the bill
into law. This legalized same-sex marriage in the District of Columbia.
The final steps to allow SSM for loving, committed DC same-sex couples to
marry were successfully dodged:
Two potential vetos by Congress were not passed, and
A potential court-ordered plebiscite involving DC voters that was promoted by religious conservatives was rejected.