No Rebuttals Against Gay Marriage in D.C.

Reporter Ian Urbina celebrated the dawn of gay marriage in the nation's capital with three of the happy couples in Thursday's "Nation's Capital Joins 5 States in Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage." Urbina quoted three people who got married on Wednesday, but no one opposed to gay marriage in the district. That strong disparity is par for the course at the Times on gay marriage issues, when it strives to portraying the culturally fraught matter as non-controversial.

(Local coverage in the Washington Post was even more gushing, but at least the paper let an opposing minister have a sentence of rebuttal.)

It was cold and drizzling outside the City Courthouse just after 6 a.m. on Wednesday, but no one seemed to mind among the same-sex couples waiting for the chance to apply for a marriage license.

"This is a dream come true," said Sinjoyla Townsend, 41, as she smiled ear to ear and held up her ticket indicating she was first in line with her partner of 12 years, Angelisa Young, 47. "We wanted it so bad."

Gay rights advocates hailed the day as a milestone for equal rights and a symbolic victory as same-sex marriage became legal in the nation's capital.

Washington is now the sixth place in the nation where same-sex marriages can take place. Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont also issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Urbina didn't bother to get an opposing quote:

Despite failing in court, opponents of the law vowed to fight another day.

The law survived Congressional attempts to block it, and Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. on Tuesday rejected a request from opponents of same-sex marriage to have the United States Supreme Court delay it.

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty signed the measure into law in December, but because the District of Columbia is not a state, the law had to undergo Congressional review, which ended Tuesday.

Urbina blandly noted that the local branch of Catholic Charities changed its rules in protest, then returned to the soppy anecdotes.

Mr. Gansler's move is expected to draw legal and legislative challenges, but for Terrance Heath of Montgomery County, Md., it was the turning point that persuaded him to get married.

"We realized that we can finally get many of the benefits and protections that other couples take for granted," said Mr. Heath, 41, a blogger who lives with his partner, Rick Imirowicz, 43, and their two adopted sons.


At the city's Marriage Bureau inside the Moultrie Courthouse, just blocks from the Capitol, the mood was giddy as couples hugged and talked about a day they never thought would arrive.

"I became a naturalized U.S. citizen in the mid-'90s," said Cuc Vu, a native of Vietnam who was third in line with her partner of 20 years, Gwen Migita. "But this is really the first time that I feel like I have the full rights and benefits of citizenship."

Urbina ended with a dubious economic argument in support of gay marriage:

City officials say the measure will also provide a financial boost to the local economy. A study by the Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, predicted that more than 14,000 same-sex marriages would occur in the city over the next three years, which would bring in $5 million in new tax revenue and create 700 jobs.