The District is poised once again to become the battleground for a divisive social issue as the D.C. Council moves a step closer to legalizing same-sex marriage, an action that could force Congress and White House to take sides in the debate.
For those not totally in the know, DC, politically, is in a bit of an odd spot. According to Art 1 Sec 8 of the US Constitution, it is the US Congress who has ultimate say in 'all cases whatsoever' in the District of Columbia -- oddly DC doesn't have a vote in either house despite having more people than the state of Wyoming. Because of this, Wyoming, oddly, can have more of a say in DC governance than the people of DC.
The City Council of DC has exercised a degree of autonomy since its founding, it has been allowed to be relatively autonomous but the authority of the DC City Council can be usurped at a moment's notice by Congress, it's local issues and policies debated and decided exclusively by Congress. Currently DC government exists through a policy of Home-Rule whereby Congress can intervene in local affairs, but allows the City Council to govern until such a time that Congress chooses to step in.
As it stands now, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Amendment Act of 2009
has 10 co-sponsors on the 13 member city council. The remaining three council members are Democrats whose constituents have the larger black populations. In spite of this, should Congress not intervene, a near unanimous passage is expected.