The D.C. Council voted Tuesday to legalize same-sex marriage in the District, as the city moves quickly to join five states in allowing gay couples to marry.
After months of debate, the council passed the bill 11 to 2. It still must take a second vote in two weeks before the measure can go to Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D), who has said he will sign it.
If the bill survives a required congressional review period, the District will join New Hampshire, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont and Massachusetts in allowing same-sex marriage.
Council member David A. Catania (I-At Large), one of two openly gay members of the council, said before the vote he thought it was a day that “would never come.”
“It really speaks to the long and rich tradition of tolerance and acceptance that does make up the sense of place in the District of Columbia,” said Catania, the chief sponsor of the bill.
Council member Phil Mendelson (D-At Large), another key sponsor, said the vote is a culmination of a decades-long struggle by gay rights leaders in the District.
“I don’t think it’s a giant step; it’s a final step,” Mendelson said.
Council members Marion Barry (D-Ward Eight) and Yvette M. Alexander (D-Ward 7) were the only two members to vote against the bill.
This is one advance that doesn’t look like it will be rolled back anytime soon.