Michael Brown Stands for Gay Marriage; Yvette Alexander Does Not
In this week's column, LL spun a scenario whereby the D.C. Council might approve a same-sex-marriage referendum. That best-case hypothetical situation for gay-marriage opponents, LL wrote, would be if "Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr., on the hot seat with an election a year off, convinces Chairman Vincent C. Gray and at-largers Michael Brown and Kwame Brown to join him, Yvette Alexander, and Marion Barry."
Not so fast! Gloria Murry Ford, a staffer for Michael Brown, called LL yesterday to protest mightily that her boss would never ever consider compromising on such a key civil-rights issue. Not even in some harebrained hypothetical scenario! Never!
Duly noted. And, it should be said that Kwame Brown is signed on as a co-sponsor of the marriage bill, and Gray is not only a co-sponsor, but offered strongly pro-marriage-equality comments in a Washington Times interview earlier this week.
So that leaves Alexander, Barry, and Thomas.
Don't count on her vote, David Catania.
"I stand where the president stands, that the definition of marriage is a union between a man and a woman," she says, leaning heavily on the Obama civil-union crutch. She adds: "We give them just about everything that they would get [with marriage] with a domestic partnership."
And don't think any of those fancy terms is going to change her mind: "The word "marriage equality" for me doesn't make sensd. Marriage is between a man and a woman," she says. "How more equal do they want it?"
As for it being a human rights issue, Alexander thinks not. After all, she chairs the council's committee on again and community affairs, which has oversight over human rights matters. The bill isn't going to her committee, she points out, but solely to Phil Mendelson's judiciary committee. "No one can argue that it's a human rights issue if it's not going through human rights [committee]," she says, adding to her concerns that "I don't see how Congress is going to approve it."
As for a ballot initiative: "I think that would be the ideal situation."
Alexander says that Catania, the bill's sponsor, called her yesterday to ask whether she would support the bill. She was having lunch with Barry at the time. "When David asked me...he really didn't expect that I was going to cosponsor, but he gave me the courtesy of calling and asking."
And, no, she doesn't expect Barry to support the bill, either.