DC Council Advances Gay Marriage Measure

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Washington D.C. is one step closer to legalizing same sex marriage after the City Council gave tentative approval to the measure Tuesday.

Eleven of D.C.'s 13 council members approved the marriage amendment, arguing that it's a civil right long overdue for gays and lesbians in the nation's capitol.

"For the City Council to vote overwhelmingly to end discrimination against gay and lesbian families and to support marriage equality is huge," said Michael Crawford of D.C. For Marriage.

Click play to watch the CBN News report followed by an interview with Rep. Jason Chaffitz, R-Utah, who appeared on Monday's CBN Newschannel's Morning program to discuss the actions of the D.C. City Council. 

"I believe this bill is deeply American because it is bringing some truth to those words that all men are created equal," council member David Catania added.

Marion Barry was one of the two "no" votes. The controversial former D.C. mayor said he was guided by his "conscience" and constituents who disapprove of the measure.

"I think it's the most sacred act in the Christian religion, a covenant between two individuals and their God," he said.

The vote sets up a conflict for the archdiocese of Washington.

Catholic charities have contracts with the city to provide services to the needy, and are now looking for ways to continue their relationship despite the obvious conflict in messages.

"There's just too many needs in our city right now to limit the providers," Susan Gibbs, archdiocese of Washington.

The City Council must approve the bill in a final Dec. 15 vote, which would then send the legislation to the mayor to sign, followed by a Congressional review.

If same sex marriage is legalized in D.C., however, opponents say they will continue to fight against it.

"Our goal is going to be to put it on the ballot," said Bishop Harry Jackson, who's openly opposed the bill.

Historically voters, when given the chance, have maintained the traditional definition of marriage.

Meanwhile, Stand for Marriage D.C. is appealing to the district's superior court to put the issue before voters.

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CBN News
Jennifer Wishon

Jennifer Wishon

CBN News White House Correspondent

Jennifer Wishon is the White House correspondent for CBN News based in the network’s Washington, D.C. Bureau.  Before taking over the White House beat, Jennifer covered Capitol Hill and other national news, from the economy to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Follow Jennifer on Twitter @JenniferWishon and "like" her at Facebook.com/JennWishon.