Another state, New Hampshire, will begin allowing same-sex marriages on January 1st.
The 11-2 vote is not the final say on the matter. The Washington Post reports that the council will hold a second vote in two weeks. The bill, if it passes, would then go to Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, who supports it.
If and when Fenty signs the legislation it will face Congressional review. Congress could overrule the city council, though it is not expected to do so.
Former D.C. mayor Marion Barry was one of the two council members to oppose the legislation. He said before the vote that he has a "strong commitment to the gay and lesbian, bisexual, transgender community on almost every issue except this one," according to the Post.
The bill's chief sponsor, David Catania, who is openly gay, said the vote "speaks to the long and rich tradition of tolerance and acceptance that does make up the sense of place in the District of Columbia."
He added he once thought this was a day that "would never come."