Marriage Equality Comes To DC

by Chris Bodenner

A last-ditch effort by marriage opponents failed:

"It has been the practice of the court to defer to the decisions of the courts of the District of Columbia on matters of exclusively local concern," wrote Roberts, who made the decision without bringing in the full court. Roberts also cited the fact that although D.C. is autonomous, Congress could have passed a bill to disallow the city government from enacting the law, and it did not do so.

Marriages may be performed beginning March 9, as there is a waiting period of three business days after the issuance of licenses.

Dan Savage looks back at how the debate in the predominantly-black District was different from other campaigns:

And the lessons gay marriage campaigners, black and white, were supposed to take away [from Prop 8] were these: outreach to African Americans is hugely important [and they] take great offense when gay people or groups compare our struggle to the African American civil rights movement. But gay marriage supporters in D.C. did just that. ... And this strategy was successfulwith the African American members of the D.C. city council at least.

Timothy Kincaid looks ahead:

Were Justice Roberts an anti-marriage advocate, he may have been willing to lean towards granting the stay. It is, of course, far too soon and far to speculative to assume that this is a forerunner of his position on Perry v. Schwarzenegger, but it certainly weighs on the side of hope.

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