The D.C. Council has voted to recognize gay marriages performed in other states on the same day that Vermont became the fourth state to legalize same-sex unions.
Domestic partnerships already are legal in the nation's capital, and gay couples married in other states are recognized as domestic partners when they move the city. But today's legislation, billed as an important milestone in gay rights, explicitly recognizes them as married couples.
The initial vote was 12-0. The unanimous vote sets the stage for future debate on legalizing gay marriage in the District -- and a clash with Congress, which approves the city's laws under Home Rule. The council is expected to take a final vote on the legislation next month.