City Desk

David Catania Gives Harry Jackson a History Lesson


In testimony before the D.C. Council today, Bishop Harry Jackson namechecked Martin Luther King and his "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" in talking about his opposition to gay marriage. Jackson quoted King: "A law is unjust if it is inflicted on a people, that, as a result of being denied the right to vote, have no part in enacting or devising the law."

That, of course, was a reference to Jackson's quest to have a citywide vote on gay marriage. He said, "I believe the people of the District of Columbia have suffered an injustice by being ignored already, and you're about to do that again....There is an advisory referendum that you could endorse—why don't you do it?"

At-Large Councilmember David A. Catania, author and lead introducer of the bill, was ready to pounce.

"I want to thank you for bringing our history to this chamber, the history of voting rights in the city," he began. "Bishop, are you aware of the last time an 'advisory referendum' was placed on the ballot in the District that attempted to diminish the rights of a minority?"

Jackson said he was not.

Catania went on to fill him in on the events of Dec. 21, 1865, after then Mayor Richard Wallach 'fearing what the radical Republicans wanted to do in Congress, which is extend the vote to freed African-American males in the city,' held a vote on that issue. It lost, 712 to 1 in Georgetown, then independent, and 6,591 to 35 in the remainder of the city.

Concluded Catania, "There is an opportunity, from time to time, to have tyranny at a ballot box that would take away the rights of some because a majority thinks differently."

And then the coup de grâce: Catania asked Jackson how many times he'd voted in city elections in the past decade.

Jackson, who recently moved from the Maryland suburbs, said none: "I am recent resident of the District of Columbia."

Later in the hearing, another historical analogue came up: the pre-Civil War "Bleeding Kansas" struggle over whether that state would be admitted slave or free.

That conflict, Catania pointed out, was exacerbated by meddling interlopers from neighboring Missouri.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

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  • 1967dc

    Jackson is a complete idiot. He's a liar and a theif!

  • Truth Hurts

    Catania's points sailed right over Jackson's head. Catania was spot on ... Jackson is too bigoted to be taken seriously.

  • Huzzah!

    Zing Catania! Zing!

  • cminus

    Bishop Jackson clearly subscribes to the Bender Theory of Discrimination -- "This is the worst kind of discrimination: The kind against ME!"

  • Angry Al Gonzales

    Jackson is a jackass & a bigot. Like Pres. Obama, he thinks discrimination against black people is the only form of discrimination. Many of the black people who post here are similarly ignorant.

    Go ahead, black bigots, erupt with anger. Then look in the mirror. Read some of the posts on this blog. Then think again.

    Maybe someday MLK's words will ring true - that we just people by the content of their character. A person's skin color or sexuality is irrelevant.

  • Truth Hurts

    AAG, Bigots are bigots, period. Do you really think attacking the president and blacks in general advances the point you're trying to make? Think before you post, please.

  • 1967dc

    Angry Al..I just cant get past the fact that asshole has never voted in the District. Why do people even listen to him? He lied about living here earlier this year. What a putz!

  • U.S. Citizen

    Truth Hurts, didn't you know, Angry Al Gonzalez is angry all the time. He don't like colored people. He's a Mexican and Mexican Americans classify themselves as being of the white race, not brown, Negro, colored. Who cares if people of the same sex get married? I don't care! Let adults live their lives and be happy.

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  • Don B

    Kudoes to Catania. As Jim "AIDS Grift" "Taxi Cash" Graham fittingly goes down in flames I am glad one of our gay Councilmembers has character. When Catania came to the Council Graham tried to sandbag him. It is good to see the better man prove most steadfast and resilient.

    MB - Any news/hints on when the Graham indictments will hit? How is Loza's plea dealing coming along?

  • taxworep

    Dear Mr. Jackson, please go home. And by "home," I mean wherever you vote.

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  • NadaDon

    Isn't the District the City in the US with the lowest marriage rate? So why doesn't this Bishop do something to promote marriage (and whatever fucking santicmonious bullshit associated with it) among African Americans in the City rather than opposing those who are willing to do. If he wants to make it a race issue rather than a religious one, which anyone with half a brain can see, than he needs to address the facts. If MLK wasn't fighting for the rights of the minorities in this country and agreed with Jackson's let the general public at it attitude, then I guarantee none of us minorities would be the position we are today, especially such a reverred reverend as Jackson.

    Before you tuck tail and run, which I hope to God you have the brains to do, I put one question before you. Given what the Bible claims of Jesus Christ, would he, as a person/demi-god living today, support your bigotry?

  • Quinn

    I just don't get the opposition to gay marriage. If gay people want to be just as unhappy as married straight people, let them.

  • Charlie

    Isn't this what getting schooled is?

  • NoHeDid-int

    Who needs schooling when you have the word of God behind you...

    How the fuck did this guy become a Bishop? Was it a certificate program? Did he need letters of recommendations? What were the pre-reqs? I wonder if he was classmate with Bishop Don Juan (Snoop's personal pastor). All of these interesting questions for such a fascinating man.

    Also, have you all ever wondered why these guys are so angry at homosexuality? I mean, they must spend a lot of time thinking about Gay sex in order for them to relocate, register to vote, organize protests, testify at the Council, and so on. I guess, thinking about anal penetration is motive enough for these actions. I would suggest midday masturbation.

  • Steve

    I don't know much about Catania, but he sure did give Jackson a lesson! Good for him.

  • Davida Lavina

    "A person’s skin color or sexuality is irrelevant."

    Why is it that homosexuals feel free to revise history by injecting sodomy into every historical event? Sex acts are not equivalent to race. Using the civil rights struggle in the context of homsexual demands for special treatement is obscene.

    Catania's statement was completely irrelevant because someone's preferred method of orgasm has nothing to do with a RACE of people who were enslaved, murdered, raped and lynched for centuries. There is no more pampered group of people than homosexuals...their cries of oppression are absurd.

  • NadaDon

    I guess Davida has never had sex in her life before and if by a slim chance she did (no offense, but you write as if you are husky individual- just my read of it), I guess you made the a well-thought out choice in the matter. Your body didn't give out any electrical charge (attraction) to the other person and it pained you mentally to engage in such a hideous activity.

    Get real bitch. If you think that people simply choose to be gay or straight, then you're fucking delusional. I know the science thing might scare your bumpkin ass, so I won't even waste anytime explaining it to you. Next time your equally lard-ass husband/vibrator/household object, is pumping away, missionary style, at your disgusting hairy twat, just remember, this is all choice. You body really fucking hates you for this (I'm sure it hates you for the 300 pounds of fat around your thighs already). This is just added incentive for it. So do yourself a favor, let people fuck who they want to fuck, in whatever hole this choose to fuck in, without a mindless twit like you adding your religiously retarded statements/opinion of their lives. Stupid bitch.

  • Davida Lavina

    Just because someone may be inclined to prefer homosexual acts doesn't mean every function of society should be altered to accomodate this behavior.

    Like it or not, a man-woman union is unique and should be treated as such. The man-woman provides something to society and its perpetuation that no other union can. That is why marriage is defined as it is - not because of some "irrational" "hate" for, or "fear" of, homosexuals any more than limiting marriage to two people is because of three-or-four-o-phobia.

    Why so hateful Nada?

  • NadaDon

    I'm as equally as hateful as you Davida. My words tend to sting more because I don't have patience for stupid bitches who want to impose their religious bullshit onto the rest of us. Marriage is not a divine union or something Moses or Jebediah or Karim or Tang, or whomever created at the behest of God. It has always been historically (the thing you find in history books- not the bible bitch), a legal agreement between two parties that helped define property rights. Now, for some close-minded Jesus freaks, you tards come here on your high and mighty horses and claim that marriage is a sacred union between one man and one woman. Well, how many divorces in this country? How many spouses cheat on each other? Explain this to me. And if you see this as some distortion of normal fucking society, then you don't live in the real world darling.

    Go back to bible camp and tell Bishop Jackson that his stupid ass doesn't need to be telling people how they should live.

    Have a blessed day bitch.

  • 1967dc

    Davidada..seems like a ignorant..misinformed idiot.Another reason why some some people should be sterilized.....!

  • Gossipidity

    Way to go Nad. I hate when people feel it's moral uprightedness that dictates what marriage really is. Davida needs to get laid, seriously, because the chick seems too uptight. Maybe she needs an orgasm or six to help her out cause she obviously thinks those things are choices. It's not so dear, why else would God allow you to have one. Try anal dear, it will loosen you right up and all that pent up hate will just fall right out (sort of like you next few poops as well).

  • NadaDon

    I just today's issue of theMail and our favorite advocate Gary Imhoff turns out to be a royal douche. Masking his obvious bigotry towards gay marriage in the form of favoring "put it to masses" approach, I was somewhat disheartened by this. I wish I could understand the fear and paranoia these idiots feel towards gay marriages, but I really cannot. All the moral uprightedness that they preach in defense of their disdain for others is so hypocritical. And they all use the bible as justification for it. Well, last time I read, if marriage was such a sacred union between men and women and absolute must for the preservation of our species, why the hell wasn't Jesus married? I understand the wholly divine thing, but he was also human right? So do you all believe Jesus, being the mac-daddy pimp that he was, was also a virgin? Come one, from 12 to 30, he was probably off to India learning all that funky kuma sutra shit. Badass son. This is getting a little off topic, but my point is that we know the majority of Americans disapprove of Gay marriages. Sixty Years ago, most Americans disagreed that African Americans were equal to white Americans. Shit, sixty days ago, a minister refused to marry an interracial couple. Why do you think the electoral college exists? If we left everything up to the majority, then we jeopardize the ideals of what this country was found on; freedom and liberty for all.

    So a royal fuck-off to all you hateful sonofabitches, Gary Imhoff, you especially.

  • 1967dc

    The catholic church just threatened to pull all of it social services out of DC if the Marriage Bill passes! I say FUCK em'!

  • whowilldotheservices

    1967dc. As an impartial reader of these blogs, when the catholic church pulls its social services of DC, will you and others step up to provide these much needed services to the citizens of the District of Columbia? I am a realist.

  • NadaDon

    So rather than sucking it up and respecting the equal rights of gays, the Catholic Church will pull out of its social services in the District, thus leaving hundreds of dependent people, many of whom probably aren't gay, to fend for themselves. Wow, what a religion. I think is exactly the pratices and teachings I would live to instill in my kids. You can't win, quit and leave like some bitches.

    Why should the Catholic Church care anyhow? Do they have the monopoly on marriage in the City? Do they even have a large Catholic Community in the District? Also, since the Church doesn't believe in homosexually, doesn't it seem kind of weird that they are opposing something that really won't effect or doesn't matter to them to begin with?

    Ah, hypocrisy at its greatest...

  • whowilldotheservices

    NadaDon Agreed but the question remains, who will provide these resources and services if they leave.

  • Jessica

    Even as a Federalist' I would be reluctant to put the issue to a DC wide vote. As you can see from some of the comments, blacks hate gays. And Hispanics. And pretty much everyone. And firmly believe that their plight is not only the only one that matters now, but that no other group has ever faced or faces at present ill-treatment.

    It's sad, really.

  • 1967dc misunderstood me. Screw the catholic church! I think that its repulsive what they are suggesting. Ive dealt with Catholic Charities..Can not stand them. They run 3 or 4 of the largest shelters and I know for a fact that a majority of the staff who run the shelters are ill-trained and treat the men that depend on them like sub humans.

  • NadaDon

    Hell, give me the government subsidies these fuckers get and I'll do it. I'll walk into every McDonald's in the City, hire the entire staff at double what they are getting there, and transform these food-banks into a fast-food service. Then I'll go to the motel 8s, hire Mr. Patel's 18 kids and have them run the shelters as they would their motels. I guarantee you efficiency and money to spare.

    You know where a lot of the money goes isn't for the services these asses provide (and don't think that the majority of them are doing it out of the kindness of their hearts- some do, but most do it for a paycheck? What is the pay scale for the executive level of these groups.

    I know you all are thinking it's a Church, they can't be making that much money. Well, who are the most promient land owners in the District? St. Matthews in SE pratically owns a third of that quandrant. Calvary in Brookland owns a boatload of properties. And then there is the Catholic Church Archdioses of DC, they aren't indpedent shops or franchises. Count and em, tally up their networth, it's all a hustle somewhere.

    Dayam, all these fucking morals. Thank you momma, now my ass is broke while politicos and churchies are realing dem in...

  • motorhomejesus

    @NadaDon @Gossipidity Personally, as an LGBT myself, I support gay rights and civil unions or marriage or whatever anybody wants. People are who they are and they love/lust/fuck who they do. And, after growing up in the buckle of the Bible Belt, I have a short fuse for people who use religion to justify their fears, like Davida Lavina.

    HOWEVER, as a feminist, I also don't like the misogynistic crap you are spewing... Seriously?! What the fuck is your problem? The "needs to get laid" crap and the fat-hate... Instead of pointing out why Davida Lavina's beliefs are wrong, which they are, you comment on her looks, her vagina, and use some really disgusting, sexist language. You make it about her being a gross, disgusting woman because you don't agree with her, instead of just being a bigot who happens to have a vagina. Shame on you.

    Dehumanizing someone for their gender does not a good point make when arguing that you shouldn't be dehumanized for your sexuality.

  • Waldorf, MD

    Catania's dumbass seemed to overlook one important fact. What were they voting on? Extending voting rights to Black males. Guess who didn't get to vote on that issue? The Black males, or Black anythings as a matter of fact. The outragous attempts to compare the oppression of Blacks in America's past, to today's Homosexual rebellion are all completely irrelevant and unrelated. Homosexuals have every FULL right to vote on the exact same issues as any other American. The votes that Mr. Catania referred to were obviously NOT representative of the population. Just like these pathetic coucil members are not representing their constituates. Bishop Jackson will be better prepared to defend against this ludicrous attack next time.

  • Justin

    Actually, as much as many of you have criticized Davida Lavina's comments as being religious, she never used a single religious argument. Sure you could apply it to religion, but nothing she said was religious. Therefore, the name-calling and "hate speech" for which will soon be illegal was the only valid argument against what she said.

  • NadaDon

    motorhomejesus- I don't think were my comments were meant to be misogynistic. Actually, I love woman, love, love em. But, I do have a serious problem with overweight, hairy-twat bitches, who have not been laid in ages that feel the need to deride others because uncle cletus had his way with her in the toolshed 30 decades ago.

    The reason I remarked the way I did to her is that when you attempt to make logical explanations or give opinions as to why sexual preference isn't really a preference but part of our innate nature. Instead, I choose the high road and bash the shit of that twit because it's pretty damn obvious that she is a sex-starved, obese person, with a rather hairy twat. So if you find this offensive, well, I'm not really sorry, I wish I could have had a picture to go along with it to prove exactly what I said. You might be offended because you like large women with a tendency not to groom themselves, I don't know, I'm making that assumption.

    As for the validity of any of my arguements, religious or not, I frankly don't give a flying fuck. Religion is nothing more than a set of rules written by people who couldn't get laid. So instead, they wrote a bunch of shit expecting others to follow it so that they too will not get laid.

    America was "founded"- I love this term, someone should have told the natives- on the principles of puritans, who burnt women at the stake because preachers couldn't follow their menstral cycles. Now, 400 years later, we have Ms. Davida, Bishop Jackson, and others, who are obsessed with what happens in someone else's bedroom and wanting to impose their religious bullshit on them. Well, I have no patience for it and I have no problem sounding like a misogynistic prick as a result.

    Good day bitches...

  • Mark

    Here is some history for Councilmember David A. Catania. In Washington's Farwell address we find this statement " And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle."

    Frederick Gotthold Enslin was the focus of one of three possible cases of sodomy documented in the Continental Army under General George Washington.[citation needed] The case began with a charge against an ensign for slander against another soldier. At Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, in February 1778, Ensign Anthony Maxwell was brought before a court-martial charged with "propogating a scandalous report prejudicial to the character of Lieutt. Enslin." The Ensign was ultimately acquitted of the charge. In March 1778, Lieut. Enslin was brought to trial before a court-martial. According to General Washington's report: "...Lieutt. Enslin of Colo. Malcolm's Regiment tried for attempting to COMMIT SODOMY..." Washington's secretary continues to describe the results of the trial in negative, descriptive terms: "His Excellency the Commander in Chief approves the sentence and with Abhorrence & Detestation of such Infamous Crimes orders Lieutt. Enslin to be drummed out of Camp tomorrow morning...." It seems that Ensign Maxwell had witnessed Lieut. Enslin in bed with another soldier. There is no record of the sentence ever being carried out, nor what happened to the dismissed Lieutenant."

    It appears sir you don't agree with our first commander and Chief.You must however be right though!

  • Craig Howell

    Mark, George Washington was also a slaveowner.