Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Gay Marriage Is Legal in U.S. Capital

Excerpts of Gay Marriage Is Legal in U.S. Capital By IAN URBINA, New York Times

Washington is now the sixth place in the nation where same-sex marriages can take place. Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont also issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Despite failing in court, opponents of the law vowed to fight another day.

The law survived Congressional attempts to block it, and Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. on Tuesday rejected a request from opponents of gay marriage to have the United States Supreme Court put the new law on hold.

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty signed the measure into law in December, but because Washington is not a state, the law had to undergo Congressional review, which ended Tuesday.

Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington on Tuesday limited employee health care benefits to avoid coverage of same-sex couples. It was the second time Catholic Charities changed its rules to protest same-sex marriage, having earlier ended its foster care program.

The city's new law was already having regional implications.

Last Wednesday, Maryland's attorney general, Douglas F. Gansler, issued a legal opinion concluding that his state should immediately recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere.

Mr. Gansler's move is expected to draw legal and legislative challenges.

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