City Desk

Same-Sex Marriage Bill in April?

Washington Blade's Lou Chibbaro Jr. is reporting this afternoon on an e-mail circulated among pro-gay clergy that claims At-Large Councilmember David A. Catania has committed to introducing a gay marriage bill at the April 7 council meeting.

A Catania aide says in the Blade story that no date is certain, but LL can say with certainty that same-sex marriage efforts are humming right along. Last Thursday, Catania hosted in his office a meeting of about 10 activists with local and national ties to discuss the status and strategy of gay marriage in the District.

At the meeting, multiple sources say, Catania gave no date certain for his bill, but he said his patience would not be infinite. "He basically said, 'I'm very into doing it. I don't want to wait forever, and I will give you notice when I do do it,'" said one person who attended the meeting.

He also told the group that the bill would amend the District's Human Rights Act—important, because measures involving the HRA aren't subject to ballot initiatives under District law.

Ben Young, Catania's chief of staff, declines to detail what was discussed at the meeting, but says, "It's not a secret that the councilmember continues to talk to any number of people to solicit input."

Catania did point out in the meeting that he expects the D.C. House Voting Rights Act controversy to be settled in two weeks—just in time for the April 7 meeting—which some of the attendees took to indicate his sense of timing.

One person at the meeting brought up the possibility of waiting until next year to introduce the bill. According to another attendee, Catania pointed out next year is a congressional election year. The source paraphrased Catania as saying, "If you think next year will be better than this year, you're wrong."

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  • Tom Miller

    Compare and contrast; one of my high school english teachers drilled that into my head.
Compare and contrast: Slave rights and gay rights; the contrasts are easy, the comparisons are profound. Slaves could not get legally married either. They could not create and sign contracts, and what is marriage mostly (legally speaking) but a huge contract with thousands of rights and responsibilities.
Navanethem Pillay, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights spoke there last year saying, "That just like apartheid laws that criminalized sexual relations between different races, laws against homosexuality are increasingly becoming recognized as anachronistic and inconsistent both with international law and with traditional values of dignity, inclusion, and respect for all."
Apartheid: A system of laws applied to one category of citizens in order to isolate them and keep them from having privileges and opportunities given to all others.
Stop gay apartheid.