Tuesday, November 10, 2009

DC Same-Sex Marriage Law, Just a Formality?

Currently being drafted in D.C Council's Committee on Public Safety is Bill 18-482. What is so special about that Bill (that causes me to jig in my seat) you might ask? It is a bill circulating that argues, "marriage equality already exists in the city, and a law legalizing it isn't much more than a formality" according to DCist.

The bill recognizes that NOWHERE in the constitution does it define marriage as a union only between a woman and man. It cites several other laws and initiatives that have been drafted and used in the DC area dating back from 1992 that worked to use gender neutral language, allowing more rights to same-sex couples. Having the right to marry is more than just a piece of paper binding two people together. Marriage constitutes federal benefits and protections, like estate taxes, hospital visitation, Medicaid and more. All of which are things civil unions and domestic partnerships cannot. The right to marry is simply granting people access to the same benefits and protections that other people already legally have.

The bill is expected to be marked up today and ready for a council vote on December 1st. Keep your fingers and toes crossed people, I know those of us at Feminist Majority Foundation sure are!

Picture Credit: o'holy sweet cakes on flickr.com

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