Posts about Religion
12 of the 13 members of the DC Council, all except for Phil Mendelson, introduced a bill today to permit overhead wires for streetcars along H Street and Benning Road, NE.
12 signatures, one blank space.
The bill, written by Councilmember Tommy Wells, re-establishes the federal ban on overhead wires as a local law, using the same authority DC has used to modify other laws about the District of Columbia that precede home rule. There's more on the legal basis in Saturday's article.
Overhead wires will continue to be prohibited inside the L'Enfant City (and Georgetown) except for the H Street-Benning Road corridor. To expand beyond that area, DDOT will have to present a citywide plan and gain Council approval. Finally, by 2014, DDOT has to present a report to the Council on "the feasibility of converting to non-aerial power" any existing overhead wire streetcar lines.
Mary Cheh, David Catania, and Jack Evans also introduced a bill, cosponsored by Jim Graham and Tommy Wells, to allow people besides religious ministers and DC judges to solemnize marriages. When Greater Greater Wife and I were getting married, we found it very odd that we couldn't get a friend, teacher, or other non-religious official certified to perform our non-religious marriage if we had wanted to.
We ended up using a nondenominational "minister" celebrant, but DC, unlike most states, sets some complex hurdles for people not part of a major religion to be certified to perform marriages, and some religious affiliation is still required. That's inappropriate, if not unconstitutional since, as Cheh noted, many DC residents are not religious yet still want to have weddings outside of a courthouse.
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