Today was quite a big day in D.C. This morning, more than 100 same-sex couples went to the H. Carl Moultrie Courthouse for the first day gay couples could apply for a marriage license in the city. Among those couples was Bilerico's Terrance Heath and his partner Rick A. Imirowicz.
Because of required three day waiting period between applying for and receiving a license, the first marriages in D.C. will begin on Tuesday, March 9.
Couples begin lining up at 6am with Angelisa Young and Sinjoyla Townsend being the lucky couple to be first in line. Angelisa and Sinjoyla have been together for 13 years and have two children. They plan to marry as soon as possible on March 9 surrounded by family and friends.
The freedom to marry in the District has been a long time coming. Local activists have worked for years using an a multi-faceted incremental approach that involved electing supportive candidates to office, building a supportive policy, and public education and community outreach.
The City Council hearings on the bill were the largest in memory and featured a diverse range of D.C. residents speaking out in support of marriage for same-sex couples. The bill passed the Council by an overwhelming 11-2 vote. Mayor Adrian Fenty signed the bill in a rare public signing ceremony at All Souls Church. The mayor's parents looked on proudly as he signed the bill.
The bill survived a thirty legislative day congressional review period despite efforts by a few conservative Republicans to have the measure shot down.
Primary opposition to the bill came from Bishop Harry Jackson, pastor of a Maryland based church and the National Organization for Marriage, headquartered in Virginia.
DC activists working in partnership with national organizations will have to be on the lookout for further attempts by Jackson and company to strip marriage away from D.C. residents.
Here's video courtesy of The Washington Post of the first couples outside of the Marriage Bureau as they stood in line to apply for a marriage license: