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DC council votes to recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere

[JURIST] The Council of the District of Columbia [official website] voted Tuesday to recognize same-sex marriages [JURIST news archive] performed outside of Washington, DC. The bill, proposed by DC Councilman Phil Mendelson [official website], was approved by a 12-0 vote. A number of council members applauded the vote, citing its historic nature, and hinting at forthcoming legislation [Washington Post report] that would allow same-sex marriages to be performed in DC. Gay and lesbian rights group the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) [advocacy website] applauded [press release] the council's vote, calling it, "another positive step toward equality." There will be a final vote on the proposed legislation next month, and then the measure must be approved by the mayor and then by Congress under the Home Rule Act [text, PDF].

The DC Council's vote comes on the same day that the Vermont Legislature voted to legalize same-sex marriage [JURIST report]. While Washington, DC will now recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages, Vermont becomes the fourth state to legalize same-sex marriage, joining Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Iowa [JURIST reports], and the first state to do so through a vote of the legislature. California had allowed [JURIST news archive] same-sex marriages until November 2008, when Proposition 8 passed 52-48. Vermont became the first state to offer civil unions to same-sex couples when then-Governor Howard Dean signed H.B.847 [text] into law in April 2000.

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