District voters do not have the right to directly vote on gay marriage, the D.C. Court of Appeals concluded in a 5-4 decision that upholds the right of same-sex couples to marry.

D.C. is the sixth jurisdiction in the country where same-sex marriages are legal, with the first such unions being performed March 9.

Opponents to gay marriage had claimed in court that laws making gay marriage legal in the District should be subject to a citywide referendum. The court rejected that argument. The D.C. Court of Appeals is the highest court in the District and the decision upholds conclusions reached in D.C. Superior Court.