The only way the DC vote to recognize out-of-state same-sex unions can be stopped once the Mayor signs it is intervention by Congress. To overturn the laws set forward by the City of Washington, DC would require a vote by both House and Senate, and then signed on by the President.
My prediction: this will not happen. It will break down as such:
- Obama: Continue to remain silent -- he has not commented on any of this yet. We are all pretty sure he has no problem with marriage privately, but has publically only supported civil unions and the repeal of the 1996 Federal DOMA. By saying nothing, he registers as a "no vote," thus not angering conservatives by celebrating the marriages, and not angering the liberals by coming off as half-hearted.
- House: A far-right wing Representative (from the South, perhaps?) will introduce the bill, but the House leadership will never let it see the light of day. Pelosi is all ready saying that they have bigger things to deal with and wrangling over simple recognition is not on their plate. This is a political win for both parties, for the reason stated above. The Republicans, especially in the Midwest, are starting to realize that they will win no friends and gain little more support by coming off as anti-gay, and they can play it off like they have been -- "it's the right of the elected officials to make those decisions, and not ours to intervene."
- Senate: Likely, nothing will even come up. Senators will be too dignified to bother with it, even if they are privately fuming,
What may happen, and the situation that I'm excited to see: the DC Council proposes and passes marriage equality, bringing same-sex couples from all over the country to the front door of the US government to get married... then some fast-thinking activist starts redirecting the newly wed couples towards their local Senator/Representative, marriage certificates in hand, and demanding the repeal of DOMA.
In my head, marriage equality in DC should be the next step.
But, people rarely listen to me on these things.