By a 5-4 vote, the D.C. Court of Appeals has ruled that the District’s gay marriage law can stand. An opinion out this morning says the Board of Elections and Ethics was right to refuse a referendum on the law; the board had said the referendum would violate the city’s Human Rights Act. “The question now is whether an initiative measure that would deny recognition to individuals who have entered or wish to enter into same-sex marriages in the District or elsewhere, and would deprive them of the benefits and obligations that come along with such recognition,would authorize or have the effect of authorizing discrimination on a basis prohibited by the Human Rights Act,” the court wrote. “We have no difficulty concluding that the proposed initiative would do so.”

The gay marriage law may not have brought much in the way of new revenue for the city or the wedding industry here. But as a step toward equality and justice, it’s pretty significant. Now the law has survived both a threatened challenge from conservatives in Congress and a lawsuit—looks like it may be here to stay.