District of Columbia

District of Columbia legal documents designed to protect your family no matter your relationship status

District Of Columbia

district_of_columbiaDistrict Of Columbia

Rainbow Law has a document package designed to protect same-sex partners in the District of Columbia. We offer 9 unique Affordable Document Packages, Individual Legal Documents and FREE Advance Directives to help protect your rights and the rights of your family. To order a legal document package that complies with District of Columbia law, hover your mouse over the “Buy A Package” link in the top menu and click on the package that best suits your needs in the drop-down list. If you’re not sure what package is right for you, click this link and we’ll help you figure out what you need.

The District of Columbia recognizes the right of gay and lesbian couples to marry. And because the US Supreme Court overturned parts of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the federal government also recognizes LGBT marriages. This means same-sex married couples living in the District of Columbia are eligible for all rights and benefits afforded to heterosexual married couples.

District of Columbia same-sex partners and family members might continue to experience some discrimination – like snubbing by your family of origin or by complete strangers in a social setting. These insults can’t be dealt with legally; they require a set of adaptive behaviors, including education, humor, and a thick skin.

Here is a run-down on District of Columbia law affecting the LGBTQ community:

1 Recognition of Same-Sex Relationships: Same-sex marriage in the District of Columbia was legalized on December 18, 2009, when mayor Adrian Fenty signed a bill passed by the Council of the District of Columbia on December 15, 2009. Following the signing the measure entered a mandatory Congressional review of 30 work days. Marriage licenses became available on March 3, 2010, and marriages began on March 9, 2010. The District became the only jurisdiction in the United States below the Mason–Dixon Line to allow same-sex couples to marry, until neighboring Maryland legalized same sex marriage on January 1, 2013.

Domestic partnerships for same-sex and opposite-sex couples remain available as an option alongside marriage.

The District has provided benefits to same-sex partners of state employees since 2002.

To date, sixteen states – CA, CT, DE, HI, IA, IL, ME, MD, MA, MN, NH, NJ, NY, RI, VT, and WA – plus Washington, D.C. have the freedom to marry for same-sex couples.

2 Adoption Law: Single and joint LGBT adoption is permitted. Second-parent adoption is also allowed.
3 Anti-Discrimination Law: Sexual orientation and gender identity are both covered as protected classes under the District of Columbia’s law. District’s hate crime law covers hate crimes based on both sexual orientation and gender identity.

4 Sodomy Law: Same-sex sexual activity was decriminalized in 1981 but the decision was quickly overturned by the United States Congress. A successful legislative repeal of laws criminalizing same-sex sexual activity followed in 1993.

5Gender Identity: Transgender persons may amend their birth certificates once they have undergone sex-reassignment surgery. Under the JaParker Deoni Jones Birth Certificate Equality Amendment Act of 2013, transgender persons who were born in DC may obtain new birth certificates that reflect their current gender identity from the city registrar on the basis of a letter from a licensed health care provider and no longer need to have undergone gender reassignment surgery. The act is awaiting Congressional approval.
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