08:36 | 26th April 2019

News: World

Thu 4 Mar, 2010
By Danielle Carter

Scores of gay and lesbian couples lined up before dawn to apply for their marriage licences at Washington courthouse,

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DC Legalises gay marriage

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Same-sex marriage is now legal in the capital of the United States, although opponents are still attempting to overturn the law in court.

Scores of gay and lesbian couples lined up before dawn to apply for their marriage licences at Washington courthouse, while supporters, including DC clergy members, sang songs.

Reggie Stanley was overwhelmed at the thought of being able to marry.

"It's bringing tears to my eyes.

It's either the cold weather or the day but I'm just thrilled," he said.

"I'm exhilarated and I'm just so proud of our city, and so proud of what progress this means and of our country.

"I think this is a continued evolution of our country toward justice, equality, responsibility and commitment."

His partner of six years, Rocky Galaway, was always confident it was going to happen.

"I have a lot of faith in the system of the district of Columbia and so I knew this day would come, and I'm just glad it's here today," Mr Galaway said.

"It's growing across the country, this is a groundswell movement, and it's going to happen across the country in a few years from now for sure."

The couple plans to tie the knot next week when the mandatory waiting period expires.

Washington is the sixth place in the US to allow gay marriage after Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont.

The gay marriage law had near unanimous support from the DC council but because Washington is a federal district, it had to undergo a Congressional review period, which expired yesterday.

During the campaign for gay marriage in DC supporters drew parallels with the civil rights movement, saying bans on same-sex marriage would one day seem as ridiculous as the ban on interracial marriage, which was thrown out in the late 1960s.

However opponents are still attempting to overturn the law in court, and there was a small group of protesters outside the court making it clear they believe the US is doomed because of support for gay rights.

Marjie Phelps from the Westborough Baptist Church in Kansas says she is spewing the "righteous, perfect hate of God".

"[Gay marriage] will be the final straw. This nation will have passed the final line with God and this nation will be destroyed," Ms Phelps said.

The DC marriage bureau had to put on extra staff to take the applications for same-sex marriages.


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