DC Elections Board Weighs Proposed Gay-Marriage Referendum

WASHINGTON -- The D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics is weighing whether voters should have a chance to block a bill to recognize gay marriages performed elsewhere.

The D.C. Council passed the measure in May. It's currently under congressional review.

The elections board on Wednesday heard four hours of testimony regarding a proposed referendum on the issue. A coalition of black ministers who oppose the bill and want the referendum say the bill is the first step toward legalizing gay marriage in Washington. They want a public debate on the matter.

Council member Phil Mendelson, who sponsored the bill, says the city would be treating gay and straight couples differently if it only recognized some out-of-state marriages.

The board is expected to make a decision by at the end of this week or early next week.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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