Washington, D.C. approves same-sex marriage

The Washington City Council voted on Tuesday to approve same-sex marriage, putting the U.S. capital on course to become the sixth state or region in the United States to allow gay marriage.

The legislation, which passed by an 11-2 vote, will go to the desk of Mayor Adrian Fenty, who has promised to sign the bill.

All local legislation in the capital, home to 590,000 people and formally known as the District of Columbia, must undergo a mandatory 30-day review period by the U.S. Congress before it can become law.

Same-sex marriages can be held only after the congressional review, which gay rights activists and local media reports said was not expected to alter the bill.

The D.C. Council earlier this year passed a bill recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states, and Tuesday's passage of the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Amendment Act of 2009 was widely anticipated.

The states of Massachusetts, Iowa, Vermont and Connecticut already allow same-sex marriage. New Hampshire will join that list on January 1.


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