Monday, July 6, 2009

Marriage equaliTEA: one lump or two?

Same-sex couples in DC are inching closer toward equality. The District of Columbia will tomorrow begin recognizing legal same-sex marriages performed in other states, thanks to a bill passed by the DC City Council.

Same-sex couples in the District cannot yet obtain marriage licenses here. Any DC Council bill proposing legalization of same-sex marriage in DC is, like all DC laws, subject to a 30-day congressional review period.

Local opponents of same-sex marriage may propose a ballot initiative to overturn the law, according to the Washington City Paper. But there's a great progressive, feminist community in DC, so any anti-LGBT ballot measures will meet a lot of resistance.

We might be closer to attaining equality in Maryland, too. The Maryland Attorney General's office is drafting an opinion on whether state law would permit recognition of out-of-state same-sex marriages. Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley indicated today he would favor recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states.

O'Malley favors civil unions over marriages for same-sex couples in Maryland, which is extremely disapointing. LGBTQ couples deserve full rights and full equality under the law, and nothing less.

Still, we can be cautiously optimistic as states continue to expand civil rights for all of its citizens. But you must remain active to keep the momentum going. Ask your elected officials what they are doing to ensure equal rights for all Americans. Work with your campus and community to ensure your university provides a safe and equitable learning, living, and teaching environment for ALL members of the campus community.

Photo credit: jsmjr on Flickr.

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