City Desk

Anti-Gay Marriage Rally Light on District Residents

Freedom Plaza briefly found itself this morning at the center of the culture wars, when about 150 folks gathered to protest the D.C. Council's recent vote to recognize same-sex marriages in other states.

Bishop Harry Jackson, a D.C.-resident minister who leads a Bowie, Md.-based flock, assembled the group with the help of the Family Research Council, whose president Tony Perkins appeared today with a group of ministers on the stone expanse across from the John A. Wilson Building.

Protesters carried a variety of neatly made signs bearing such epigrams as, "If We Change Marriage, What Will Be Next?"; "Say No 2 Same-Sex Marriage in D.C."; "Kids Deserve a Mom and a Dad"; and "Think About the Children."

Jackson read a message from evangelical firebrand James Dobson, who urged followers in his statement to "create a Defense of Marriage Act for the District of Columbia."

Cindy Jacobs, "a respected prophet" and frequent 700 Club guest from the Dallas area, took the microphone to tie the day's rally to a debate on hate crimes currently taking place on Capitol Hill. The protest is a civil-right issue, she said, claiming that the federal legislation threatened the ability to oppose gay marriage. She went on to namecheck Martin Luther King's Letter from a Birmingham Jail. "We're not going to give Satan any rest," she cried. "We're not going to give city councils any rest. We're not going to give legislatures any rest."

LL spoke to ten individuals after the 90-minute rally ended. None were current residents of the District of Columbia.

One, a youth minister from Bowie, Md., was taking time off of work to join the rally. "It think it's important that whenever people are taking a stand, we need to support people taking a stand," he said. While he personally doesn't like in the District, he said "friends and relatives will be affected by it."

Another, the Rev. John Hardy of Stafford, Va., came with his wife and a congregant from his flock at Covenant Family Worship Center after getting a call from Jackson. He says he plans to tell the rest of his flock about his event and pray for local politicos. "We believe that prayer does things," he says.

A couple from Chevy Chase, Md., Jim and Joan Schnabel, came after getting an e-mail alert from the FRC. Jim pointed out that he was a native Washingtonian. "Probably the only one here," he cracked. Joan pointed out that D.C. isn't quite the same as other places: "It is the center of the nation. It influences the world."

Another minister, Rev. Derek McCoy, also claimed native Washingtonian-ness, though he now lives in suburban Maryland. "I think it's important to know this is the nation's capital," he said, noting that he's been "privy to" poll results showing 60 percent of D.C. Afriacan-Americans against same-sex marriage.

LL heard the nation's-capital bit a lot. "We don't see this as a protest," said Mike Jacobs, husband of the aforementioned Cindy. "We're not here to protest something. We're here to support something." He went on to take issue with LL's focus on residency. "I'm a natural born citizen of the United States of America, and this is my capital. Your capital," he said. He said he had "standing" to rally here that, he says, he wouldn't have in, say, Vermont, where the legislature recently passed a same-sex marriage bill.

At the conclusion of the rally, Jackson had attendees raise their hands to the Wilson Building and pray for the councilmembers. "Washington, D.C., we call you into alignment with the word of God," he cried. Earlier, he had vowed to return next week and keep returning while the gay marriage measure was under consideration.

Afterward, LL ran into At-Large Councilmember Kwame R. Brown. He declined to address the substance of the protest, but did say this: "I appreciate all the prayers."

UPDATE, 2:15 P.M.: According to two accounts, Marion Barry addressed the crowd at the rally before LL showed, telling them he would have voted against the gay-marriage recognition amendment had he been in attendance earlier this month. He led them in a chant of "No to same-sex marriage." LL was present last summer when Barry told the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club that he supported gay marriage in the District.

Gay activist Rick Rosendall, who was in attendance, says Barry appealed to morality in explaining his stand. "I find it somewhat strange that someone who has had four failed marriages and has lived somewhat swinishly is using morality to keep me from getting married."

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  1. #1

    So pathetic that they have to ship in people from Bowie and Alexandria for their pro-discrimination rally. Rightly people were probably ashamed to be seen in public at such an event. Did they invite David Dukes?

  2. #2

    bigots get none of my attention and i'm glad to know they only got attention from a handful of other oppressors in DC.

  3. #3

    So Marion Barry was not there? Is someone spreading rumors about him? Jeff Richardson still has it on Twitter, but his Facebook messages have been deleted.

  4. #4

    The majority of people understand that marriage has value. Otherwise why would the state hand out marriage certificates in the first place? Our gov. and the people want to promote and encourage the marriage relationship because it is the foundation of a family, and provides children with what they are entitled too - a married mom and dad.

    Those who see this as a civil rights issue are so wrong. No individual is being denied the right to marry.(You just have to stay within the definition of the word). Not every type of relationship has the right to be labeled a marriage.

    Relationships are not all equal. Homosexual relationhsips can never provide a mother and a father. Every child deserves to have a married, loving, mother and father and all our laws should encourage this ideal.

  5. Kesh Ladduwahetty

    Interesting that all these folks who claim an interest in the "nation's capital" don't take a similar interest in our lack of representation in Congress, our gun violence (fed by illegal trafficking from MD), our Anacostia River pollution (fed by their trash), etc.

    This is proof that marriage equality in DC will bring down on our heads the full force of the national right-wing anti-gay lobby. It will be a decisive moment for the civil rights of gay people in the United States, and for local autonomy in the District. A battle worth fighting, indeed!

  6. #6

    Shove off Jennifer -- see how well some of the DC kids are doing with a mother and father.

    Bite me.

  7. #7

    I had heard Barry had shown, dunno if he spoke. I got there late because I was at the interminable council budget briefing. He has flipped and flopped several times on gay marriage, FWIW.

  8. #8

    Jennifer, what planet do you come from? Marriage between a man and a woman does not guarantee a loving and nurturing relationship for children. Just look at all the broken homes not only in this country but around the world. Children are not entitled to a married mom and dad, they are entitled to be brought up by a person, or people who love each other, and no government has the right -- based on religious ideals that are terribly outdated -- to limit marriage between two people, regardless of gender.

    I've heard people say gay marriage is not a civil rights issue, and I'll be god damned if I'll agree with them. Marriage is most definitely a civil right just as long as a man and a woman are legally able to be hitched.

    As to this statement, "not every type of relationship has the right to be labeled a marriage," I agree. Brothers and sisters, no. Mother's and sons, no. Cousins, no. Two consenting adults, regardless of sex, absolutely yes. In my humblest of opinions this issue is no different than the fight for acceptance of interracial marriage.

  9. #9

    @Jim: Actually, cousins (1st through infinity) can marry in plenty of states, and there's a much lower occurrence of birth defects in their offspring than popular scare narratives suggest.

    Long Live Cousin Love! And Gay Marriage!

  10. #10

    I'm guessing that most DC kids are living with only their moms, or otherwise with one parent. All because people don't value marriage, and because of "personal" adult rights. With gov. legalizing gay marriage, they would be endorsing and promoting the lie further, that children can do without one or the other (mother or father), and that adults' rights and interests come before childrens'

  11. George Michael Bluth

    Thanks for joining our fight, Riggs. We appreciate your support.

  12. #12

    Updated on the Barry issue.

  13. #13

    Yes Jennifer, I really feel for all of those kids with two same-sex parents who may have to deal with the horror of their parents being allowed to marry. If we really want to protect these children we must insure that their parents never marry and their family continues to be branded as second class.

  14. #14

    Marion Barry was indeed there (not from the start; he walked across Pennsylvania Avenue and joined the crowd while the rally was in progress). When he spoke, he said that he was absent for the first vote on marriage recognition because he was recovering from surgery, or he would have voted not. He said that Bishop Jackson and his followers were defending morality. He led the crowd in a chant, "No to Same Sex Marriage." And he urged them to pack the Council chambers on May 5.

    I find it bizarre to hear a man with four failed marriages to his credit, and who has behaved swinishly his entire life, invoke morality as a reason to deny me a chance to marry once. As Marion was leaving, I approached him and said, "Shame on you, Marion." To which he replied, "I support you on everything else." I pointed out that he had talked out of both sides of his mouth on this issue. Considering the paucity of the turnout and the fact that so many of the assembled were from "Ward 9," I must conclude that Marion's political judgment has deteriorated.

  15. #15

    Its unfortunate that children with gay parents will never have either a mother or a father. Those children should be taught that ideally, children should have both.

    For children, having intimate, motherly, feminine, love and intimate, fatherly, masculine, love is what's needed for promoting healthy emotional and social development. For them it is "true love." Gay parents are putting their "true love" ahead of what's best for their children.

  16. #16

    What next, Are their new white friends going to teach thier new black friends how to burn crosses in their gay neighbors front yard? Wow just imagine being so blind sighted. How very very sad. What an insult for the African American Christian Community to promote this ugly injustice. For them to participate in the very hate which was directed at thier own people so few years ago is beyond comprehension. Heres a qoute from the Bible that seems fitting " Jesus wept".

  17. #17

    @George Michael: Maebe isn't even related to you. I say go for it.

    @Jennifer: Should children with sissy dads and butch moms apply for new ones? ("BREAKING: NOM pushes for legislation requiring gender stereotype testing in new parents")

    Also, Jennifer, what is your stance on a feminine women marrying their masculine cousins and having children? I think we might be able to work out some sort of compromise.

  18. #18

    Jennifer, what a freaking bigot you are. I am the product of a very broken legal marriage and I turned out just fine thank you. How dare you decide for everyone what the definition of healthy emotional and social development should be. Can I ask you something? What exactly is wrong with "true love?"

  19. Dad of 3 teenage girls

    I heard Larry Craig and his wife were there. She was seen looking hopelessly for him after he said he needed to used the men's room.

    I also heard Rev. Haggard was there but the other reverends didn't want him to speak.

    I also heard Miss CA wanted to speak claiming that she was doing God's work for "opposite marriage".

  20. #20


    There is nothing preventing you from having true love. Sexual behavior/orientation is in the "ignored" category, along with race, gender, ethnicity etc. when it comes time to administering law. Marriage, a type of relationship, is in the rewarded category. Not every type of relationhsip can be treated equally, and so our gov. has chosen to reward this type of relationship with certain rights. Gender is a consideration because marriage defines a man/woman relationship.

    If you can give me a good answer as to why gov. should recognize marriage, civil unions, or any family relationhip at all, then maybe you can understand my logic.

  21. #21

    Reward? Are you serious? Jesus fucking Christ! I have already given you an answer, because it's the right thing to do. I am not any less of a human because I am gay, just as you aren't any less of a human because you are a bigot, although I think some would argue with me on this.

  22. #22


    Your ignorance at this point is willful. If sexual behavior is ignored, then why are you talking about it? What is preventing my happiness with my partner is anti-gay discrimination under the law. The 1996 Defense of Marriage Act alone bars my partner and me from nearly 1200 federal rights and responsibilities of civil marriage. Because he is a foreign national, that discrimination puts an extra burden on us. Your repeating endlessly that marriage is for a man and a woman is a declaration, not an argument. One woman at the rally today had a sign saying that a child was entitled to a mother and a father. Don't tell that to me, tell that to the straight couples who couldn't raise the children they created, whose children ended up in orphanages. Gay couples have taken into their homes and their hearts thousands of children that other people have thrown away, and given them loving and nurturing homes, and you condemn us for it? Shame on you.

    What we seek is equal protection of the law. We are going to get it.

  23. Dad of 3 teenage girls

    Jen and her belief of what children need.
    Iowa decision: "Plaintiffs presented an abundance of evidence and research, confirmed by our independent research, supporting the proposition that the interests of children are served equally by same-sex parents and opposite-sex parents. On the other hand, we acknowledge the existence of reasoned opinions that dual-gender parenting is the optimal environment for children.These opinions, while thoughtful and sincere, were largely unsupported by reliable scientific studies."

    Your belief is unsubstantiated, as are most of the "concerns" about marriage equality.

  24. #24

    So perhaps my biggest problem is that I don't accept social scientists' opinions as absolute truth. If I am a bigot for believing children deserve to have a mother and a father, than we have a twisted idea of what it means to be a bigot. I guess I am bigoted towards all single parents too. My feelings for all adults are the same, I simply believe we should put childrens' interests above adults'.

    Again, if you will answer the question, why should gov. recognize marriage, civil unions, or any familiy relationship in the first place, then maybe I will take some of you seriously.

  25. #25

    Rick Rosendall,

    Bad parents need to be dealt with. We need stricter divorce laws, abuse laws, welfare reform, abstinence ed., and restrictions on things that destroy marriages such as drugs, alcohol, pornography, and other things addictive. Your point that many gay couples have compassionately taken in orphans is admirable, but doesn't address the reason there are orphans in the first place, and still denies those orphans the privilege of having both a mother and a father.

  26. #26

    Jennifer, please push for the government to outlaw marriage for people who are infertile or past child-bearing age.

  27. PearlsBeforeSwine

    I was at the rally. I want to make the point that Marion Barry told the crowd that he supports civil unions, but not marriage rights. This is a position that will please no one. It was really sad to see him. There was a time that Marion Barry was a civil rights leader, and like most such people he understood the fight for equal treatment under the law that gay people seek. Now he just seeks the approval of any crowd that will give him an audience. It is a pathetic thing to see.

    The most bizarre bit of the rally was when a preacher from Florida, who said he came as an invited friend of the Bigot Harry Jackson, told the crowd that they should describe the disgusting acts that lesbians and gay men perform to their children. I say check your Craigslist M4M listings tonight if you want to meet this guy. I am sure his listing will be something like "I stood for marriage this afternoon. But now something else is standing that needs your attention."

  28. #28

    cmcc, you miss the point. You have to ask yourself why gov. should hand out marriage licenses in the first place. Just because our gov. hands out driver's licenses doesn't mean all choose to drive. Many couples who marry are infertile and thats OK, I used to be one of them, but I still desired children and had the potential of having them. The question to ask yourself is what things do we want our gov. to promote.

    It's like protecting the environment. We care so much for our outside environment, and so we restrict some personal freedoms for the benefit of the whole. We seem to care nothing for the home enviroment, and only punish the worst crimes. We need to promote traditional marriage, and healthy marriages, for the benefit of all children.

  29. #29

    Jennifer: so you think the children of gay people are being screwed over by thier parents for not having either a mother or a father. Fine I get it. But why do you think the government should screw those children over as well by denying the security of marriage to the only parents they know? Are you hoping by keeping gays from marrying one another one of the partners might leave the other for a member of the opposite sex who would then adopt the children? Please help me, I'm really trying to understand your position.

  30. Dad of 3 teenage girls

    From Jen
    "I guess I am bigoted towards all single parents too."

    I just love it when someone ADMITS this, and then TRIES to defend it. Absolutely precious!

  31. #31

    cmcc, you miss the point. You have to ask yourself why gov. should hand out marriage licenses in the first place. Just because our gov. hands out driver’s licenses doesn’t mean all choose to drive.

    Good point. Let's ban marriage! Civil unions for everybody! (And I mean everybody. I'm going to go around pointing at random people on the street and shouting, "Hey! You're civilly-unionized to Dennis Franz!")

    When marriage is outlawed, only outlaws will have inlaws.

  32. #32

    At least cmcc has determined that we might as well ban marriage. But what is the point of civil unions or the recognition of any family relationship? I still am not getting an answer.

    Elizabeth, your question as to why should our gov. not extend the security of marriage to the children of same-sex couples is like asking why shouldn't we hand out more welfare money each time a single mom has a child. The gov. can reward, ignore, or punish certain behaviors. Welfare money in many cases rewards those single moms for having more children.

    Our gov. by extending marriage benefits to gay households is promoting the lie that children can do without one or the other gender. They are promoting more children being raised without a mother or father instead of doing something to solve all the current problems with children raised without one or the other. To me, that isn't fair to them and that is not doing them justice.

  33. Dad of 3 teenage girls

    You remind me of a young woman in my elementary logic class at the university. Every class it was the same thing. She would raise her hand and tell the professor that she still didn't understand. He would explain it again and she still didn't understand.

    How about buying yourself a T shirt that says, "I STILL am not getting an answer."

  34. #34

    Gay is not and will not ever be o.k. No matter how much legislation that all of man kind cand through behind it.We can't change the way God veiws it anymore than we can change Gods' existance or His Son Jesus' right to rule.Anyone and everyone that thinks gay ok and pushes to promote gay as ok are so terribly wrong.They desperately need to repent before Christ ask for forgiveness and healing.If gay is ok then there is no crime on the books that should be a crime because other people find those crimes more to their liking the being gay.Go ahead make gay ok and open the door to all sins otherwise you are being discriminating bigots as the gay folks like to put it .

  35. #35

    Marrion Barry has a little walking around money now that he flip-flopped on marriage equality.

    Although he personally signed the marriage recognition amendment, he now claims that it was "staff error." Uh huh.

  36. Dad of 3 teenage girls

    to sinner
    Have you also accepted Jesus Christ as your personal shopper? It's easy to do online.

  37. Angry Al Gonzales

    If I see another anti-gay screed here, I will go out & have a gay affair tonight. So think about it - if you post some anti-gay rant, you will create another gay person today.

  38. #38

    so what have you been shopping online for dad? Wouldn't have been Christ. We can tell you dont suport things of God let alone His Son and and your King like it or not.
    If you are alive when Christ returns you will bow before Him rather you like it or not

  39. Dad of 3 teenage girls

    SERIOUSLY sinner
    you can do this online:

    PS I attended BOTH catholic elementary school and high school. It is not your place to judge. Better go collect the stones you've thrown.

  40. Dad of 3 teenage girls

    From Angry Al Gonzales:
    "If I see another anti-gay screed here, I will go out & have a gay affair tonight. So think about it - if you post some anti-gay rant, you will create another gay person today."

    I think is is exactly what the Gathering Storm predicted!

  41. Ward 1 Reader (up to comment 24)


    I see your point. It's comprehensive and subtle. It takes guts to come on here and argue your point.

  42. Angry Al Gonzales

    OK, Dad of 3, I'm headed out to find my first gay boyfriend - & it's all your fault.

  43. #43

    "what is the point of civil unions or the recognition of any family relationship?"

    Seriously? Fuck you! Only someone who takes for granted the right to visit her loved ones in a hospital or not be kicked out of her house when her partner dies would ask such a stupid question. I pity the sad, lonely, pathetic man who finally ends up settling for the quiet desperation that would be marriage to you.

  44. #44

    "Gay and lesbian people have families, and their families should have legal protection, whether by marriage or civil union. A constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages is a form of gay bashing and it would do nothing at all to protect traditional marriages."
    - Coretta Scott King

    "I've heard the reasons for opposing civil marriage for same-sex couples. Cut through the distractions, and they stink of the same fear, hatred, and intolerance I have known in racism and in bigotry."
    - Congressman John Lewis

  45. #45

    Joel- You're a good and reasonable man, but bigotry is strangely resistant to good reason. I wonder if Jen has ever spent casual time with gay couples and their children. Given her beliefs, it's difficult to imagine.

  46. #46

    Bigotry is indeed resistant to reason, but love is a whole other force. That's why the words of the incredible and remarkable John Lewis are so important; I hope people read his full essay linked above. I'll try to find the full text of Mrs. King's 2004 speech.

    This movement is about love and human dignity. I'm sure there's a lot of human dignity to see in Jennifer; probably some very good things she does every day.

    The law fully protects Jennifer's human dignity in her role as a spouse and mother; it protects the human dignity of her children; it protects her in caring for her loved ones.

    I'm so thankful that people like John Lewis, and the late Mrs. King, understand that those dignities are universal.

  47. #47

    Studies show that children who grow up in poverty are extremely unhealthy both physically and mentally.

    Thus, according to Jenny's logic, we should ban marriage for people in poverty because we don't think it's an optimal atmosphere to raise children.

    John Lewis is right, when you strip away all the noise from the anti-gay marriage movement, the argument boils down, essentially, to "ewwww".

  48. #48

    First of all, it doesn't take an education to get an degree anymore. Everything is done online, They take online College Classes. They take exams and cheat online.And they are not really learning anything.You see what I'm saying? Cause they don't have to worry about hardcore studying and memorization's anymore. That's why when you ask a lot of them a question, they refer you to somebody else.Cause they can't really answer your question.You see what I'm saying? Cause they don't know. They can't even hold an intelligent conversation anymore. I mean some top flight intelligent people, who can talk about practically anything, Politics and all,like they did about 25 or 30 years ago. Computers today are making people so out of touch, And is the reason why people today are so dumb. And is the reason why these ignorant Politicians today are contradicting Common Sense Law, disregarding Public Opinion, and letting Citizens with abnormal behaviors have their ways.It was not meant for two people of the same sex to marry. Marriage is a Religious purpose for a man and a woman to be fruitful and multiply. Now how can that be with two people of the same sex?
    The American Dream is for a child to be born to a mother and a father. And not fostered by two gays or lesbians. Or having only a mother and not a father. That's not the American Dream. And they are allowing abnormal behaviors to cut into our Law, and changing our Laws. Or is this Country getting so loose with American Freedom, that they could care less whether a person was walking down the street flapping his arms and cackling like a bird, without anyone recognizing Mental Health issues. They don't care nothing about Illegal immigrants breaking into our Country.Which is the same as if someone breaking into your house, and sitting down and having dinner with you.

  49. #49

    Why are we afraid of absolutes here in America ?

    God blesses a man and a woman when they join their hearts together in marriage.

    As soon as Christians stand up and speak their convictions they are immediately labeled with such hateful words as bigots, discrimination and all other kind of labels that does not represent God's love for a man and a woman in marriage.

    Why are we afraid of absolutes ? Our nation will only become weaker and weaker as we travel down the road of no abaolutes. The more that we remove God from our society the weaker our nation will become.

    We cannot let this happen.

    Marriage is a sacred institution that God initiated between a man and a woman. We must stand for what God desires in our nation. One womand and one man.

    One Nation Under God.

    Ron Brumbaugh

  50. #50

    You are not the only person to read the Bible, nor are you unfortunately the first person to forget that a certain man in that book--who said not one word about this issue that consumes you--implored people to love and treat their neighbor as they would like to be treated.

    You are preaching the exact opposite of the Scriptures, the exact opposite of the New Testament, here: you would like your neighbor, and her/his family and children, to continue to live without the very same protections and treatment that you enjoy. You are preaching for them to be treated hurtfully and differently when visiting their spouse or child in the hospital, to be denied the health benefits you have automatically, and denied many other basic protections in our nation's laws.

    Unlike Iran, Saudi Arabia, and many other nations, our laws are civil code, not religious doctrine. But the legislative approach you support is anything but Christian, as you hold the Bible in one hand, and discrimination in the other.

  51. #51

    Why do blacks hate the gay community so much? Sure must suck to be born black and gay - those poor souls are screwed!

  52. #52

    If Christians believe so strongly that God is against same sex love and same sex marriage, why does it make any difference what the government does about it. The government is not God. Only Gob will be the one to judge then if so desires to. What is any of your buisiness to press your beleifs on someone if your not the one who is doing the sinning. or are you guys trying to repent on some sin that you have done like sex before marriage are spread your seed on the floor through masturbation.

  53. #53

    Ok, here goes nothing. I want everybody to think about the consequences of what abomination has taken place today. First off, if gay was a nationwide epidemic, our population would deplete and the human race would be obsolete. Also I think it's kinda disgusting that women with women and men with men thing. I'm sorry to tell you people, but gay is a desperate last resort for someone who can't find a special someone of the opposite sex. I'm sorry people but gay is not hereditary, and I can prove it scientifically. And I am a parent, so I don't want my child around this immature display of I couldn't get a piece, now I'm gay!!! Freakin people are rediculous and gays, you all know you're going to hell!!!

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