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More on D.C.’s Same-Sex Marriage Bill


It was noted here yesterday that the D.C. Council is considering a bill that would redefine marriage in the capitol. This is actually not the first time the Council will have considered this. Back in 1975, a council member proposed a bill that would have had the same effect, but withdrew it in the face of significant opposition.

Then, in 1990, two men sought a marriage license from the District and after being denied, sued the District alleging the marriage law was unconstitutional under the U.S. Constitution. The trial court rejected the claims as did the D.C. Court of Appeals in 1995. The latter involved three separate opinions (one for each judge) with the majority of the panel of judges rejecting all of the constitutional claims and one judge suggesting the case should have gone back to the trial court for more evidence.

D.C. is at the frontiers of family law in related areas. It recently enacted legislation to allow the partner of a child’s biological parent to be considered a legal parent and even listed on the child’s birth certificate.

Looking quickly at the child-centered marriage indicators identified by a recent Institute for American Values report mentioned in Maggie Gallagher’s column yesterday shows that: 58.5% of children in the District are born to unmarried mothers (higher than any other state, see table 12) and “The District of Columbia had the lowest percentage of households with own children under 18 maintained by married couples (42 percent)” (page 6).


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