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Archive for December 19th, 2009|Daily archive page

Mates’ Rights.

In Politics on December 19, 2009 at 9:09 am

Now that is a “bignorant” sign (bigoted + ignorant), but proponents of same-sex marriage have a bit of good news after a year of numerous defeats. No, Richard Simmons is still gay. Rather, the District of Columbia City Council voted 11-2 to make it legal there. And yesterday, Mayor Adrian Fenty signed the bill, meaning gay couples in Washington could be married come mid-March. (Tasty morsel: one of the two “no” votes came from everyone’s favorite crack fiend ex-Mayor Marion Barry, who is a current council member.)

However, there is a catch. It is not yet law. DC being DC, Congress gets to review all laws passed in the district and evaluate them if it so chooses. USA Today foreshadowed this possibility back in April.

Congress gets 30 legislative working days to act on the bill by enacting what is called a  “joint resolution of disapproval.” In layman’s terms: “We really do not care what you autonomously decide is in your own best interest.” Reporters say interference is unlikely, since Congress has “rejected [DC] legislation just three times in the past 25 years.” I went to dig up what those exceptions were, but could not get a definitive return just yet. If anyone has the answers, please share.

So, what other precedent is there for something like this? In 1993, Congress opted not to repeal a law legalizing consensual sodomy, when the balance was also weighted to the Democrats. However, a decade earlier they did reject a similar law. As another barometer of social issue legislation, Washington may legalize medical marijuana use based on the freed-up result of last week’s Senate spending bill that stripped away the ban on that drug. Read the rest of this entry »