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March 03, 2010

D.C. Marriage Law Goes into Effect Today

A few dozen couples were lined up outside the D.C. marriage bureau this morning before it opened. They will be the first gay couples in D.C. to get marriage licenses. The city started issuing the licenses to gay couples after Chief Justice Roberts denied an emergency stay motion (PDF) late yesterday evening.

Opponents of the new marriage law also filed a Section 1983 civil rights lawsuit against the city, mayor, and chief judge (who administers marriage) alleging that their Fifth Amendment due process right is violated if the law is given effect. Scroll down to "Update 2" to see the complaint.

Related: A commenter jokingly wrote last week that he'd have to wait and see what Andrew Sullivan said about whatever gay thing I was talking about to be sure of the "monolithic gay Republican position." Oh my gravy, don't do that! Instead, take a look at this Big Government interview with GOProud's director, Jimmy LaSalvia. They talk about GOProud's stance on limited government, free markets, strong national defense, marriage, DADT, and--a big one that I get asked all the time--pride parades. It rebuts the folks who keep claiming that GOProud is just another lefty gay group.

Oh, Right, Catholic Charities: I had intended to mention this in the original post, but got distracted. Catholic Charities, which partners with D.C. to provide a host of social services, has stated that henceforth it will not be providing health benefits to spouses of new employees. Old employees will keep their current benefits for spouses if they're already enrolled, but to avoid providing health benefits to gay spouses in the future, the organization will not be providing spousal benefits anymore.

Catholic Charities highlighted this problem with the marriage law when it was proposed last year, noting that as a city contractor it would have to choose between accepting city funds (and the anti-discrimination rules that come with them) or quiting its contracts with the city. Among other things, the organization provides homeless shelters, domestic abuse prevention programs, and city-sponsored adoption placement.

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posted by Gabriel Malor at 09:51 AM

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