Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Happy Marriage Equality Day, DC!

It’s Official – Couples Apply for Marriage Licenses in DC

At 8:30 a.m. today the first same-sex couples submitted their applications to receive a marriage license in the District of Columbia. First in line were Angelisa Young and Sinjoyla Townsend, together for 13 years and also mothers. The couple was up all night anticipating this historic day and joined scores of other couples in the pre-dawn rain to get the opportunity to protect their families. Angelisa and Sinjoyla plan to marry on Tuesday the 9th, the earliest day they can receive their license now that they’s applied.

The road to marriage equality in the District has been long and was paved by innumerable champions along the way. From the record breaking attendance at legislative hearings, to two successful (and overwhelming) votes by the DC Council, to finally the Mayor’s signature, local advocates built a strong coalition featuring religious leaders and District residents.

Of course, marriage equality has not been without its opponents. Efforts to undercut DC’s elected representatives have been funded and led by the familiar players in the national anti-LGBT groups. They’ve repeatedly gone to court — and lost — and even yesterday continued grasping at straws with meritless appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court and a separate Federal suit to try and stop this progress. Anti-equality members of Congress tried to get in on the action, but fair-minded leaders never brought their bills to a vote.

Reflecting on today’s events, HRC President Joe Solmonese said:

“This law is an important step towards equal dignity, equal respect and equal rights for all residents of our nation’s capital. Starting today, same-sex couples in D.C. will be able to enjoy all the rights and responsibilities that come with civil marriage. At the same time, the law also preserves the right of clergy and congregations to adhere to their faith traditions. Today represents a hard-fought victory for D.C. residents and a poignant reminder – here in the home of our federal government and most cherished national monuments – of the historic progress being made towards ensuring equality for all across the nation.”

Faith leaders also celebrated the day with Rev. Dennis Wiley, co-pastor at Covenant Baptist Church and a co-chair of DC Clergy United for Marriage Equality, saying simply:

"Love has won out over fear. Equality has won out over prejudice. Faith has won out over despair."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...