Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

D.C. May Recognize Same-Sex Marriages

In a unanimous vote on April 7, the D.C. Council approved a new measure to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. While the vote remains preliminary, a final vote is expected sometime in early May, according to The Washington Post.

The Council delivered the vote the same day that Vermont lawmakers legalized same-sex marriage and a week after the Iowa Supreme Court did the same.

“Gay couples, no less than others, must be entitled to the protection of their marriages sanctioned in other states, especially in today’s mobile society,” Del. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), stated in an April 8 press release.

“Particularly considering that many gay couples are also parents, every effort must be made to protect these families and their children as they move among our states,” Norton added.

Across the country, many advocacy groups have responded enthusiastically to the Council’s vote, linking it to the recent measures in Vermont and Iowa.

“As Iowa, Vermont and the District of Columbia make crystal clear this week, understanding is dawning for more and more people that unequal treatment of lesbian and gay couples is just another caste system,” said Jennifer C. Pizer, director of the advocacy group Lambda Legal Marriage Project, in a press release on April 8.

Lambda Legal is a national organization based in New York that promotes the rights of those in the LGBTQ community and those living with HIV.

“It is becoming increasingly obvious to people of good will that fairness, decency and the Golden Rule demand marriage equality for all,” Pizer added.

Other supporters worry about the possible repercussions of these recent victories and their news coverage.

“Happy as the news makes me, I know that social conservatives around the nation will fight against us all the more vigorously in light of our recent successes in Iowa and Vermont,” said Michael Costa (COL ’09), a GU Pride member.

Several conservative think tanks have already voiced heated opposition to the Council’s decision.

“Protection against private `discrimination’ has historically been offered only for characteristics that are inborn, involuntary, immutable, innocuous and/or in the Constitution – yet none of these describe homosexual behavior,” Peter Sprigg, vice president for policy at the Family Research Council, said in a public statement on the group’s official web site.

Based in D.C., the conservative think-tank and lobbying group campaigns against same-sex marriage and abortion legislation.

Sprigg told The Washington Post that he believes the same-sex marriage vote was largely a political strategy on the part of the D.C. Council.

“What they have done seemed to be a little bit of a Trojan horse,” he said.

D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty has defended the legislation, saying that all citizens, including homosexuals, are entitled to the same rights. He has also suggested that he believes that same-sex marriages will be legalized in the District.

any Georgetown students have also praised the recent legislation and what it might mean for same-sex couples in the District.

“I personally am very excited to see the local D.C. government react to the generally liberal position of D.C.’ers on LGBTQ issues,” GU Pride Treasurer Laura Kresse (SFS ’12) said.

Joseph Graumann (SFS ’11), co-president of GU Pride, added his strong support for the measure.

“It’s great to hear that D.C. has voted to recognize same-sex marriages from other states, [but] it’s a shame they had to vote at all .” Graumann said. “However, any time there’s a stride towards equality, it’s a good thing. Hopefully, citizens of other states will soon be able to realize the same equality that those of Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Iowa enjoy.”

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