DC Passes Bill to Issue Marriage Licenses During Shutdown - NBC4 Washington

DC Passes Bill to Issue Marriage Licenses During Shutdown



    Shutdown’s Wide-Ranging Impact Affects Marriage, Trash, Pets

    The longer the shutdown lasts, the more people it affects. News4's Shomari Stone reports on the far-reaching impact — from pets to marriage licenses. (Published Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019)

    The D.C. Council has unanimously passed emergency legislation allowing Mayor Muriel Bowser to issue marriage licenses during the partial government shutdown.

    News outlets report the Let Our Vows Endure Amendment Act of 2019 was passed Tuesday. The legislation will go into effect as soon as Bowser signs it.

    It will last for 90 days, though some council members say they'd like the authority to be permanent. Congress allows the District to maintain city operations during a federal shutdown, but local courts are federally funded.

    The city court office that issues marriage licenses was deemed nonessential and suspended when a portion of the federal government shut down last month over funding for President Donald Trump's promised U.S.-Mexico border wall.

    At least one couple had to hold their wedding without getting legally married.

    Dan Pollock and Danielle Geanacopoulos were turned away from getting their marriage license two weeks ago due to the shutdown.

    "This is a disaster, and we want to get the government open as soon as possible," Pollock said last week.

    Bowser's office then released a statement about marriage licenses during the government shutdown, saying, "Mayor Bowser will put forth emergency legislation to establish the authority to issue marriage licenses during a shutdown. Just like the Grinch can’t steal Christmas, the shutdown can't stop love."

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