District of Columbia (DC) Mayor Adrian M. Fenty signed a marriage equality bill into law on December 18, 2009. Fenty signed the legislation at a public ceremony held at All Souls Church, Unitarian, located in the diverse neighborhood of Columbia Heights.
All Souls Senior Minister Rob Hardies, who has served as co-chair of DC Clergy United for Marriage Equality, issued the following statement celebrating Mayor Fenty’s action:
"The signing of this bill marks a watershed moment for human rights in the District of Columbia. No longer will gay and lesbian couples be denied the fundamental right to marriage in our nation's capitol. I and the nearly 200 DC clergy who supported this bill look forward to celebrating the marriages of loving lesbian and gay couples in sanctuaries like this one all over our city. I applaud Mayor Fenty and the DC Council for standing on the side of love and ending discrimination against gay and lesbian Washingtonians."
The signing ceremony, which was attended by hundreds, including members of the All Souls congregation, featured Fenty, along with DC religious, spiritual, political, and civil and gay rights leaders.
Rev. Peter Morales, President of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), also issued the following statement:
“I applaud the new law that extends marriage rights to same-sex couples in Washington, DC, This legislation will make a profound difference to many Washington families, and it will shine as a beacon of hope for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens across the country.
"I extend my admiration and gratitude to Mayor Fenty and the DC City Council members. When lawmakers step up to end discrimination and protect families, all Americans benefit. The overwhelming support for marriage equality by District leaders is heartening, especially following recent set-backs at state ballot boxes. I believe that justice ultimately will prevail as more civic leaders and private citizens come forward to stand proudly on the side of love.”
The U.S. Congress has final say in all laws approved by the District of Columbia. This review process must be completed within 30 legislative days of a bill becoming law.