BREAKING: Gay marriage to take effect in nation's capital after court refuses to intervene

Same-sex marriage will take effect in Washington, D.C., tomorrow, after the U.S. Supreme Court turned down requests from opponents to stop the law, the Associated Press is reporting. While same-sex couples can begin applying for licenses on Wednesday, they’ll have to wait three business days to exchange vows. The Washington Post reports that the city’s marriage bureau is preparing for a flood of applications from same-sex couples.

—  John Wright

What does marriage equality cost?

Finance reports were released. Supporters of same-sex marriage outspent anti-gay bigots in Maine, according to the Nashua Telegraph in neighboring New Hampshire.

The pro-marriage side wasted $5.8 million trying to achieve equality. The anti-marriage side spent only $3.8 million to preserve discrimination against gays and lesbians.

In New Hampshire, marriage equality, which was signed into law last summer, goes into effect on Jan. 1.

In Washington, D.C., marriage equality was voted into law by an 11-2 majority by the city council.

Note: No one reading this can accuse me of being the biased, liberal media.

—  David Taffet

D.C. marriage vote today

The Washington, D.C. Council will vote today for the second time on a measure to legally recognize same-sex marriage there. The bill, introduced by openly gay Councilman David Catania,  passed easily on the first vote earlier this month, and is expected to pass easily again today.

Mayor Adrian Fenty is expected to sign the bill quickly, and it then goes to Congress for a 30-day review period.And then, unless someone in Congress manages to derail it, it becomes law.

The vote is expected to happen between 11 a.m. and noon, EST, which means it could happen any minute now.

Watch Instant Tea for updates.

—  admin

D.C. Council OKs same-sex marriage

The Washington, D.C., council has approved, by a vote of 11-2, a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in the district, D.C. Agenda reports here. The bill still requires a second vote by the council later this year, and Mayor Adrian Fenty has pledged to sign it. The bill also faces a required review by Congress, where its fate is somewhat unclear. In any case, today’s vote is an important and much-needed victory for marriage equality in the wake of a devastating defeat in Maine a month ago.

—  John Wright

Updates from Maine and Washington

According to the Washington Secretary of State Web site, the vote there on approving the “everything but marriage” domestic partnership law stands at 51.13 percent in favor, and 48.87 percent against. The Web site does not say what percentage of votes have been counted.

In Maine, according to the Bangor Daily News, the votes to repeal the same-sex marriage law stands at 52.34 percent in favor of repeal and 47.66 percent against repeal, with 78 percent of the precincts having reported. Note that the 78 percent figure reflects precincts reporting, not actual votes cast. Amond the 22 percent of precincts yet to be tallied are several large urban precincts with large numbers of votes, including several precincts in Portland and the surrounding suburbs.

—  admin

Maine, Houston update

Okay. At 9:23 p.m. our time, The Bangor Daily News site is not responding. Probably overloaded. But the Web site for WMTW Channel 8 (ABC) in Portland, Maine, says that with 24 percent of the vote counted, the vote on gay marriage is a dead heat at 50 percent each.

And Harris County’s elections site says that Annise Parker has 30.06 percent of the vote, with 39.24 percent of the vote counted. Gene Locke is next with 26.09 percent.

Results from Washington state where they are voting on possible repealing the state’s “everything but marriage” domestic partnership law will be posted at the state elections site at 10 p.m. our time.

—  admin

Get ready to march on Wednesday

Equality March Texas spokesman Daniel Cates
Equality March Texas spokesman Daniel Cates

Equality March Texas this week announced plans for a rally to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the passage of Proposition 8, the ballot referendum that amended the California Constitution and took away legal recognition of same-sex marriage there.

The rally, set for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 4, will come just one day after elections affecting the legal status of same-sex couples in both Maine and Washington state, and will also be either a celebration or a protest of those results, according to EMT cofounder and spokesman Daniel Cates.

Maine lawmakers earlier this year passed a bill giving legal recognition to same-sex marriage. Marriage equality opponents, however, were able to get a referendum on the November ballot giving the state’s residents the opportunity to exercise their “citizens’ veto” and rescind the law.

The Washington Legislature this year approved what has been called “the everything but marriage” law there, giving same-sex couples all the same legal rights as married heterosexual couples, but without calling those unions marriages. Residents there will also be voting on a ballot initiative to rescind that law.

“We want to continue to express our outrage over the passage last year of Proposition 8. And we want to either celebrate or protest the outcome of the votes in Maine and Washington,” Cates said Wednesday, Oct. 28. “And we will use those to continue expressing our demand for marriage equality in Texas and all across the country.”

Cates said the rally is EMT’s response to the call by Equality Across America — a group birthed out of the National Equality March on Oct. 11 in Washington, D.C. — for local groups across the country to plan events during a “Week of Initiative,” Nov. 1-8.

“The whole idea behind the national march was to get people fired up enough to go back to their home districts and start organizing like never before,” Cates said. “It’s like, ‘Great, you’re angry. Here’s something you can do about it.’ This [rally] is something we can do about it.

“We really want to have a good-sized crowd turn out,” he continued. “Proposition 8 was a really terrible thing, and we need to make a statement about it, to show we have not forgotten. And we need to respond to whatever happens in Maine and Washington. If we lose there, that’s another terrible blow and we can’t let it go unanswered. But if we win, then that’s a huge cause for celebration, because it will be the first time gay marriage has won in a popular vote.”

Cates said the rally will be held at the Legacy of Love monument located at the intersection of Cedar Springs Road and Oak Lawn Avenue. Participants should start gathering around 7 p.m., and the rally will begin at 7:30 p.m.

“We are still finalizing plans, but since TMC [The Mining Company] has a sound system on their patio, we might be able to march from the monument down to TMC for the speakers,” Cates said.

He added that EMT is still lining up speakers for the event, and that they want to have “a good range” of people to speak. The only speaker confirmed by Wednesday afternoon was activist C.D. Kirven.

“We need to do something to make a statement, whatever happens in Maine and Washington, and we hope people will come out and participate in this and help us make that statement,” Cates said.

For more information, go online to Equality March Texas’ Facebook page,

—  admin