On Dec. 18, the D.C. Marriage Bureau announced it would close during the government shutdown, meaning those hoping to get married in the nation’s capital could not receive a license.
However, on Jan. 11, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser signed a bill that some have dubbed “The Love Act.”
“We are stepping in where federal courts have discontinued issuing marriage licenses,” Bowser said.
The Let Our Vows Endure Emergency Act of 2019, or LOVE Act, grants Bowser the authority to issue the licenses and authorize officiants for 90 days.
“Today once again we call on the president to get the federal government open, we call on all Americans to join us in our fight for D.C. statehood, and last but not least, we congratulate all the couples who are here with us today, all of those who are out in the city,” Bowser said at Friday’s bill signing while flanked by several soon-to-be-wed couples.
Danielle Geanacopoulos stood beside a man she called her “semi-husband,” Dan Pollock.
“I say ‘semi’ because as some of you may know, we held our wedding ceremony Dec. 29 without our marriage license because of the president’s shutdown,” Geanacopoulos told ABC News. “With Mayor Bowser and the city council’s hard work, we’re delighted to finally be able to make our commitment to each other legal and binding.”
The D.C. Council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve the measure, drafted by Bowser’s office soon after she was sworn into office for her second term.
“Just like the Grinch can’t steal Christmas, the shutdown can’t stop love,” John Falcicchio, Bowser’s chief of staff, said in a statement.
Though some functions of the federally funded D.C. Superior Court remain operational, the Marriage Bureau, which is a part of the D.C. court system, was deemed nonessential and halted its operations when the federal government shut down.