ACSblog recently spoke with Washington, D.C. Councilmember Mary Cheh about the District of Columbia's historic passage of a law permitting same-sex marriages.
Cheh, who is a law professor at George Washington University, said the key to the D.C. Council's success was that it "set the stage" for the passage of the statute, by starting gradually with a domestic partnership law, followed by recognition of marriages in other states.
"When the statute [allowing same-sex marriage in D.C.] came forward, of course, that put in place something that was already operating in the District of Columbia," Cheh said.
Cheh also described one outstanding lawsuit that charges the statute is invalid because it could not have been passed by the Council alone, and should have been put to a referendum. The D.C. Court of Appeals rejected this challenge, and a petition for writ of certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court is now pending.
Cheh doubted the success of this lawsuit, because a line of D.C. court decisions prohibits questions involving human rights, including discrimination, to be put to a referendum.
Watch the video interview below or click here to download it as a video podcast.