The same-sex marriage debate moved to another level Tuesday with the City Council in the District of Columbia voting 12-1 to recognize such unions from states that allow them. Although Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Iowa permit same-sex marriage, the District’s vote lands the issue squarely in the lap of Congress.
Federal lawmakers have 30 days to review and overturn the council’s decision. That’ll be a debate worth watching, as members of Congress and President Barack Obama are forced to take sides on the issue.
Tuesday’s D.C. council meeting was emotional, with a number of black ministers vowing to work for reversing the decision. There’s evidence suggesting the preachers may reflect public attitudes in the District. Although it’s overwhelmingly Democratic, it’s also majority-black. Exit polls in California last fall showed seven in 10 African-Americans opposed gay marriage in a vote there.
By the way, the lone dissenting council vote was cast by former Mayor Marion Barry.