Washington DC – The first same-sex marriage was performed in Washington, DC on Tuesday.
Gay and lesbian couples are now legally allowed to wed, making the District the sixth place in the country to allow same sex marriages.
James Betts and his partner celebrated more than a wedding Tuesday morning. They’re also grateful for their new legal right to marry.
“It’s still our wedding and we were happy to do this in front of a courthouse and we think that this a big moment for the nation’s capital,” said Betts.
Some 150 couples are now eligible to collect marriage licenses and hundreds more are expected to apply soon.
But as same sex couples line up to take their vows, not everyone is willing to forever hold their peace. Plenty are speaking out against the law passed in December.
The federal government still defines marriage as between a man and a woman, so for federal workers, their marriage still won’t mean spousal benefits. Many same-sex marriage advocates say that’s key, along with being able to file a tax return jointly, among several other issues.
New Hampshire, Iowa, Massachusetts, Vermont and Connecticut also recognize same sex marriages, and partners may receive state level benefits.