Task Force Action Fund applauds D.C. for honoring and recognizing same-sex marriages

July 07, 2009

Pedro Julio Serrano
Communications Coordinator
(Office) 646.358.1479
(Cell) 787.602.5954

WASHINGTON, July 7 — The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund applauds today's implementation of a landmark District of Columbia (D.C.) law that gives legal recognition to marriages of same-sex couples performed in other jurisdictions. The law, the Jury and Marriage Act of 2009, passed on a 12-1 vote in the District City Council on May 5. It immediately provides to married same-sex couples residing in D.C. over 200 obligations, benefits and rights under local law. Although the U.S. Congress has the authority to repeal any D.C. law under the city's Home Rule charter, no attempt to block the marriage recognition law was made. A lawsuit filed by a Maryland minister seeking to overturn the measure by voter referendum failed, first dismissed by the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics and then that decision was upheld by Judge Judith Retchin one week ago.

Statement by Rea Carey, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund

"With great relief and pride, we welcome the District of Columbia's steady progress on marriage equality and congratulate the District's City Council and Mayor for their leadership in enacting a law to legally recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. Thanks and appreciation also go to D.C. for Marriage, whose leaders and members have worked tirelessly to achieve the enactment of this law.

"It is particularly gratifying and refreshing that a proposed voter referendum to challenge and possibly repeal the law was resoundingly rejected on the grounds that an attempt to deny legal equality to same-sex couples violates the District's Human Rights Act.

"To have our legal marriages recognized and defended as a matter of human rights in our nation's capital sets a new threshold for other jurisdictions. For myself and for the other countless same-sex married couples residing in the District of Columbia, this marks a new day for all of us. We look forward to full marriage equality in the District of Columbia, when same-sex couples can be legally married in the city where they live, work, raise their children and make their homes."

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The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund, founded in 1974 as the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Inc., works to build the grassroots political power of the LGBT community to win complete equality. We do this through direct and grassroots lobbying to defeat anti-LGBT ballot initiatives and legislation and pass pro-LGBT legislation and other measures. We also analyze and report on the positions of candidates for public office on issues of importance to the LGBT community. The Task Force Action Fund is a 501(c)(4) non-profit corporation incorporated in New York. Contributions to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund are not tax deductible.