D.C., city council on Tuesday passed a far-reaching
domestic-partnership law extending rights and protections to
the city's gay and lesbian couples. Now
it's up to the mayor and Congress to bring the
law to fruition.
In a unanimous
first-reading vote, the 13-member council voted to expand
the current legal recognition of D.C. gay couples to include
rights of inheritance as well as obligation to pay
alimony and child support. At a second and final
reading on December 20, the council and Democratic D.C.
mayor Anthony Williams are expected to approve the measure.
Next the bill would go before Congress for a 30-day
review period and, if not vetoed, would become law.
advance was lauded by Jody M. Huckaby, executive director of
Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.
"Basic rights such as the ability to make
medical decisions in emergencies and inheritance are
key to the security and stability of same-sex families and
we're pleased that the D.C. council recognizes this,"
said Huckaby. "But now it is the responsibility of
Congress to follow the will of the residents of D.C.
and allow this legislation to pass."
domestic-partnership law would provide some of the strongest
legal protections for gay and unmarried couples in the
nation, with only Vermont, Connecticut, and California
surpassing its reach. (Advocate.com)