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Lambda Legal congratulates D.C. leaders and residents on groundbreaking day

WASHINGTON - Gays and Lesbians are one step closer to saying "I do" in the District of Columbia and Lambda Legal wants to congratulate not only the leaders who put the law in place, but the residents who support it and will be able to take advantage of it.

Today is the first day that the new law, which expanded the definition of civil marriage to include gays and lesbians, will accept applications for a marriage license. There is a full 3 day wait period between application and issue, so no marriages will take place this week, but those submitting applications will be making history.

Lambda Legal issued the following statement from National Marriage Project Director Jennifer C. Pizer:

"We are inspired and proud that the District of Columbia is providing an important example for our country as a whole by joining the ranks of states that honor the full humanity and dignity of all their residents.   As did residents of Massachusetts, and more recently Iowa, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Vermont, those who live in Washington, D.C. now will have the chance to wonder what all the fuss was about as they see first-hand that allowing same-sex couples to marry doesn't endanger or harm anyone else. Instead, all of society is strengthened when every family is accorded the same equal respect under law.  We call on elected and community leaders coast-to-coast to follow the principled example of the D.C. City Council and work to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage in their states." 

The law required two legislative votes and passed both overwhelmingly before becoming law. Foes of the law appealed to the Supreme Court this week to step in this week, but Chief Justice John Roberts denied the request.

Following his three page order, Roberts said that a ballot initiative would offer the people a chance to state their views on the law.

Washington D.C. joins Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont in allowing same-sex marriage across the nation.