December 11, 2009 | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
D.C. marriage equality rally set for Dec. 14

The D.C. Council is set to vote Dec. 15 for the second and final time on a bill to legalize same-sex marriage. (DC Agenda photo by Michael Key)

A rally in support of the D.C. same-sex marriage bill is scheduled to take place Dec. 14 at a city recreation center — the night before the City Council holds its second and final vote on the Religious Freedom & Civil Marriage Equality Amendment Act of 2009.

The rally, set to begin at 7 p.m. at the Kennedy Recreation Center at 1401 Seventh St., N.W., is being hosted by the same-sex marriage advocacy group Campaign for All D.C. Families, D.C. Clergy United for Marriage Equality, and the Human Rights Campaign. Representatives of other groups and members of the City Council who back the marriage bill also are expected to participate.

Meanwhile, in anticipation of the Council’s expected approval of the bill, Ward 5 Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Robert King announced this week that he’s sent letters to every member of Congress calling on the federal lawmakers to block or overturn the D.C. same-sex marriage measure.

Like all D.C. bills, the marriage measure must undergo a congressional review of 30 legislative days. The review is expected to begin later this month after the Council passes the measure and Mayor Adrian Fenty signs the bill, as he has promised, and the bill is sent to Capitol Hill.

Both Democratic and Republican observers on Capitol Hill have agreed that the Democratic-controlled Congress is expected to block attempts by same-sex marriage opponents to overturn the bill. Democrats have said D.C.’s local, home-rule government should be allowed to pass its own laws unhampered by Congress, even if some members of Congress don’t agree with a particular law.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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