WASHINGTON — Good news for lovebirds: Marriage licenses will soon be issued in D.C. again.
The licenses have been unavailable during the partial government shutdown because D.C. Superior Court decided issuing them was a nonessential function.
At the request of D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, the D.C. Council unanimously passed emergency legislation Tuesday called the Let Our Vows Endure Amendment Act of 2019, or the “LOVE Act” for short.
The plan allows the mayor to take over the job of issuing marriage licenses during the shutdown.
“Just last week, I was contacted by a couple in Ward 1 whose wedding is scheduled for this Friday at 3 o’clock at the federal courthouse,” said D.C. Council member Brianne Nadeau.
“They were asking what we could do. And, of course, I immediately offered to officiate the wedding. But, as you know, without a marriage certificate, it’s not possible to get married,” Nadeau said. “So, today, with a vote in support of this legislation, we will be able to help that couple, whose family is flying in from all around the country to see them get married.”
The legislation will take effect immediately after Bowser signs it, but will only be effective for 90 days. Several council members want to make it permanent.
“We should be in control of our own courts,” said Council member Charles Allen.
“One of things I’ve done is actually sent a letter to our congresswoman, asking her, as they continue their budget negotiations, to have our courts treated the same way the District government essentially is,” Allen said.
“So that when the federal government shuts down, which seems to be more and more on a regular basis these days, that our courts will continue.”
Council member Brandon Todd said the mayor’s office is working closely with the court to work out details of exactly how the licenses will be issued.
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