City Desk

D.C. Gay Marriage: The Roadblocks That Remain

Here's now Ward 5 ANC member Bob King feels about gay marriage:

"This is the most contentious issue of the 21st century," he says. Even accounting for "the fact we have two wars, a struggling economy, health-care reform, 13 percent unemployment rate, 50 percent dropout rate, African-American kids, Latino kids dying in the streets at an alarming rate—this is still the most contentious issue of the 21st century, and the registered voters are demanding to be heard."

Yikes. With emotions running that deep and many options for same-sex marriage opponents hoping to derail the D.C. Council's vote today, expect much drama to come. In fact, the process up to this point has been rather predictable. What will follow is anyone's guess.

Bishop Harry Jackson, the face of the anti-gay-marriage movement here, says: "We are simply going to try every available opportunity politically and legally to make this happen."

OK, let's start with the political options: King et al. are making the rounds of congressional offices hoping to drum up interest in Capitoll Hill intervention into the council vote. King boasts a full schedule of meetings, and says the refrain he's hearing is this: "Let the people vote!"

At-Large Councilmember David A. Catania, prime supporter of the marriage bill, says he's got strategy of his own. "I was on the Hill last week," he says. "I'm not going to telegraph to the world what our plans are....Rest assured we are working very diligently to defend this victory on the Hill. in the worst case scenario....we'll get up the next day and begin pushing the boulder up the hill."

As for the legal side, King and Jackson put a lot of faith in their attorneys, from the Alliance Defense Fund: "I believe that we have the best legal team in America," King says. A hearing is set for Jan. 6 before a Superior Court judge on one suit to force a popular vote on marriage.

For his part, Catania notes that anti-marriage forces have already been dealt an early loss in Superior Court, and that the lawyers tasked with defending the city's decision are no slouches. "You never know when you go before an independent judiciary; nothing is assured," he says. "But I think our arguments are sound, and we're working were hard to put an architecture in place of legal justifications for our actions. We've had a good track record so far, and I expect that to continue."

In fact, Catania says he's less scared of the lawsuits than of the prospect of a "nongermane amendment" getting added to some random congressional measure—and that's a threat that will continue indefinitely. "There's no question were going to be defending this, and defending it and defending it, until the other side realizes it's costing them more votes than gaining them," he says.

In the best-case scenario, same-sex couples can expect to get married by early-to-mid-March, after Congress' 30-legislative-day review period expires. Or it might take much longer. In any case, expect a surfeit of quasi-apocalyptic rhetoric as the debate proceeds.

"I'm going to use the full power of the black church to kill this bill," says the Rev. Anthony Evans of Mount Zion Baptist Church. "I feel pity for those who voted for this because they have defied the will of God. We have warned them."

Adds King: "The battle may have been won here today, but the war is on, and we intend to win God's war."

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  • Bob Queen

    Bob King and gaudy Mr. T jewlery are a joke. Screw him and his deal with the devil. He convinced the anti-DC folks from Focus on Family, NOM, etc. that he had clout in this city, so they paid him a few bucks to go buy some more craptastic fake gold jewlery. But, I'm guessing that they figured out that their emporer has no gold!

  • JohnD

    What's interesting is that Bob King is one ANC commissioner out of hundreds in DC. The ANC is supposed to be the closest to the people. Earlier this year he called for a meeting of other ANC commissioners to show up to discuss the marriage issue with the premis that they would be opposed to it. If I remember 1 or 2 out of the hundreds showed up. I guess that really shows how much of an issue it really is.

    In regards to the "black church" where does Rev. Evans get off thinking he speaks for the entire "black church." The co-heads of the religious community that support marriage equality are pastors of a "black church" and a recent marriage equality event was held in a "black church" in downtown DC, Asbury United Methodist, one of the most historic "black churches" in the city.

    As a DC resident who lives in Shaw in the center of the "black church" community, I have to remind Rev. Evans and others that most of their members and attendees now come from Maryland, at least judging my the majority of cars that double-park and block our streets every Sunday.

    As a proud member of the Metropolitan Community Church of Washington, which has been fighting for the equal rights of the LGBT community and our allies for more than 35 years, and one of the few totally inclusive churches in our city, I know in my heart and soul that God loves me just as I am, supports my relationship, and is far above these petty issues that humankind fights about.

  • Rick Mangus

    Watch how fast the wonderful DMOCRATS

  • Rick Mangus

    CONTUNUE: Watch how fast the wonderful DEMOCRATS

  • TS

    What a shame that Rev. Anthony Evans, as head of the National Black Church Initiative -- an organization focused on removing racial barriers in healthcare, education, housing, and the environment -- would have such misguided priorities. How is my marriage a bigger threat to black America than healthcare and education disparities? And to throw around hate-filled words like "war" and "kill"? That's pretty twisted, pastor -- you owe all of America an apology.

  • Rick Mangus

    I have been trying to complete this comment but I keep getting over ridden by this paper's program, so let's try it again, shall we.

    Watch the Democrats on Capitol Hill shut down this idea along with the Republicans, then you will see who your friends are.

  • Sally

    Catania is right - the Bishop Jackson congressional attempts will fail. But what happens when Republicans take control of the White House and Congress? Or even if they take over Congress? They can attach a rider to any "must pass" bill and ban gay marriage in DC. It's a very real possibility for some conservative congressional member trying to establish his conservative street cred.

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  • Rick Mangus

    You people need to get you head out of your ass, Bishop 'Carpetbagger' Jackson and the Republicans are not the problem. Back in 1993 Sharon Pratt Kelly a DEMOCRAT, was mayor of Washington and to get elected she said, "I support same sex marriage in the District of Columbia" and once she was elected mayor this lying BITCH developed amnesia and fought the attempt of Craig Dean and Pat Gill to get married. So for you fools who think that DEMOCRATS love you, thing again!

    For that matter President Obama, a DEMOCRAT could of done away with, 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' with a stroke of a pen as an executive order as commander in chief of the arm forces, everyone is still waiting Mr.President!

    President Carter back in 1977 signed an executive order allowing Viet Nam draft resisters to come back into the US without being arrested. It was an unpopular subject but President Carter had the courage and moral compass to do the right thing. President Carter is the last living DEMOCRAT that I respect.

  • Adrian Bent-Me

    I don't get why the "institution of marriage" is so sacred, especially in the black community here in the District. We have the lowest marriage rate in the fucking country. Talk about hypocrisy. Why don't they focus their efforts into promoting "heterosexual" marriages within their own constituency and leave the rest of the City to itself.

    Also, why Catholics oppose gay marriage is beyond me as well. According to Catholic Doctrine, homosexuality is an abomination and cannont exist amongst its members therefore a homosexual marriage cannot exist within the Catholic Church. So why argue so vehemently against something that does not even "exist" to you all.

  • joan

    If same sex marriage opponents really want to demonstrate wide-spread opposition, they could start gathering petition signatures now. They don't need a formal referedum approved by the Board of Elections and Ethics. In fact, the Washington Interfaith Network gathered signatures to show support for their platform of social programs during the late 90s, which pursuaded public officials to step up funding (and won earmarks for WIN).

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  • Peter Rosenstein

    I am always amazed at the vitriol spouted by people who oppose equal rights. It is the same vitriol whether they oppose the rights of African Americans, Women or the GLBT community. We hear these same vitriolic words everytime we fight for anyone's equal rights.

    They claim to sit at the hand of God and he/she has annointed them to spout their insanities. Well my God is a God of love-not hate, and a God of compassion-not anger. My God believes that all people are created equal and that our society should treat them all equally. He/She will have compassion for the misguided efforts of the Bob King's of the world and for those that believe that whether or not I marry under civil law is a more important issue for them to be fighting than the battle to create peace across the world, erase racism and poverty and provide all our children with the education they need to live a decent life and support themselves and their familes.

    Despite Bob King and Bishop Jackson I believe that my God will see that truth and decency are spoken in his/her name and that people of faith will not be led astray by those that teach them hate and preach from ignorance rather than preaching justice and love.

  • Adrian Bent-Me

    Amen Peter. I'm always intrigued by the motives of people like this. Why waste so much time and energy opposing something that has no impact on them personally? And how dare they use God to promote such hatred. When will we learn...

  • noodlez

    ALL YALL MISSING THE POINT!

    THEY FORCED THIS CRAP IN THROUGH THE BACK DOOR!

    WITH ALL THE OTHER ISSUES FACING THE CITY THAT NEED AND SHOULD HAVE GOV'T INTERVENTION THEY PUT THIS GARBAGE TO THE FOREFRONT!

    WHY? BECAUSE SOME HOMOSEXUAL COULD NOT BE FAIR AND IMPARTIAL WHEN IT COMES TO DEALING WITH ISSUES FOR THE CITY AS A WHOLE.

    THE HATE BEING SPEWED IS NOT BECAUSE FOLK HATE HOMOSEXUALS OR EVEN THAT THEY ARE AGAINST THEM GETTING MARRIED. FOLK ARE UPSET BECAUSE THE RESIDENTS OF THIS CITY DID NOT HAVE A SAY IN THE MATTER.

    IM A WARD 4 RESIDENT. MURIEL BOWSER DOES NOT SPEAK FOR ME. HER VOTE IN NO WAY SHOULD BE CONSTRUED AS VOTE FOR AND OR FROM ME. BARRY AND ALEXANDER GOT IT RIGHT! EVERYBODY ELSE CAVED.

    THE ELECTION WILL SHOW WHERE THE VOTERS ARE WITH THIS ISSUE EVERYBODY WHO VOTED FOR IT WILL NOT WIN GOING AWAY. THERE WILL BE STRONG OPPOSITION!

    IN THE WORDS OF DRAGO "U VIL LOUS."

  • Scott

    noodlez: I will say a prayer that God helps you find a path in life that is constructive to your family, friends, and neighbors.

  • Bitter Elitist

    WITH ALL THE OTHER ISSUES FACING THE CITY THAT NEED AND SHOULD HAVE GOV'T INTERVENTION THEY PUT THIS GARBAGE TO THE FOREFRONT!

    that, hon, is exactly the problem with Bob King & Harry Carpetbagger Jackson. Unemployment in Ward 8 has hit 30%...and Marion Barry is concerned about gay marriage. Really?

  • Adrian Bent-Me

    Noodlez- your limp dickedness has gotten the best of you again. Breathe and release the shift key.

    I think you're the one that has missed the point. This isn't about voters rights, it's about the rights of protecting a minority group. And even if you think homosexuality is a choice, well so is being Catholic, Buddhist, Communist, A Republican (not a good one, but still a choice) or any other group that individuals chooses to associate themselves with. In the past, discrimination against "others" has led humanity to do horrendous things. Live and let others do the same. Why take away a right and privilege of others who are not like you? How will two gay people marrying really negatively effect anyone?

    If God really had a problem with all of this, it won't exist it, now would it?

    Ease off the mocha, release the caps, get laid, whatever. Just let people be, you limp dick basturd.

  • noodlez

    Scott IM NOT THE RELIGIOUS TYPE. BUT ITS THE THOUGHT THAT COUNTS. THANKS.

    NOW DONT GET IT TWISTED. WE ARE NOT BUNK MATES.
    DONT EXPECT ME TO GO EASY ON YOU WHEN YOU LEAVE A WACK ASS REPLY. SEE Adrian Bent-Me.

    YOU WILL GET THE FULL BARRAGE LIKE ERBODY ELSE.
    CONTRARY TO BELIEF I DONT DISCRIMINATE. I TREAT ERBODY THE SAME!

    FYI-IM A YOUTH FOOTBALL AND BASKETBALL COACH.

    SHAMELESS PLUG-MAKE SURE YOU PUNKS SEND SOME MONEY TO SUPPORT ALL LOCAL POP WARNER LEAGUES. ADOPT A TEAM IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD. $100 BUYS SOCKS, TSHIRTS AND MUCH NEEDED EQUIPMENT. ATTEND GAME AND BUY A HOT DOG (THATS WITHIN YOUR REALM). IT MAY SAVE YOUR LIFE ONE DAY!

  • noodlez

    Bitter Elitist WTF U TALKIN BOUT. BARRY VOTED DOWN ON THIS ISSUE FOR THE REASON I STATED U DUMB ASS!

    STOP ALL THE HEAD BOBBIN AND PUT THE CRACK PIPE AND LIGHTER DOWN BEFORE YOU MAKE A COMMENT.

  • noodlez

    Adrian Bent-Me YOU RIGHT. ILL TAKE MY HAND OFF SHIFT KEY ON ONE CONDITION- BANANA REPUBLIC MUST GET RID OF ALL THEIR HOMO DESIGNERS.

    I USE TO BUY MY FALL GEAR FROM THERE. FAKE AFRICAN SAFARI SHIT. IT USE TO WORK FOR ME?! TEES WITH ELEPHANTS ON THEM GOOD QUALITY KHAKI SHORTS AND TROUSERS. IRISH LINEN SHIRTS. NOW ITS JUST GAP 2.0.

    I CANT BUY A PAIR OF TROUSERS WITHOUT MY JUNK SITTING ON TOP OF MY GROIN LIKE IM DEFORMED OR SOME SHIT. DAMN SHIRTS SO FUCKIN TIGHT U CAN SEE MY HEART BEAT. YOU DO THAT SHIT FOR ME ILL TAKE MY HAND OFF SHIFT KEY. TIL THEN ALL CAPS MOFO.

    WHEN A PERSON SAYS ITS NOT ABOUT THE MONEY MEANS IT ABOUT THE MONEY. YOU SAID ITS NOT ABOUT VOTER RIGHTS MEANS ITS ALL ABOUT VOTERS RIGHTS. YOU KNOW DEEP DOWN THAT WE SHOULD HAVE VOTED ON THIS ISSUE.

  • nwdc

    Um, noodlez, thank you for debunking the myth that ignorance is bliss...I mean you seem pretty angry.

  • Dakotahgeo

    I think noodlez is funny as all get out!!! What really bothers me is that he is a youth coach in anything! Is it possible he is a closeted KKK gayboy? Hee hee hee. And I didn't even have to use my shift key, lolol. You really need to take a tranquilizer and a suppository at the same time... you'll feel much better in a little while.

  • Adrian Bent-Me

    Noodlez- Quite the fashionista for a straight black man. Thank you for the illuminating breakdown on the props and cons of the B Republic. Now I know why your called limp-dick. The pants were too tight, ahahaha. Glad you made the change. You need to stop wearing turtle-necks from there as well cause it's cutting off the circulation to your brain.

    Oh by the way, I understand why you might think you're not scared of lesbians, but in actuality, you should have more to fear from them that gay men. They actual want to be with women while the men couldn't be bothered. So maybe you should re-examine your logic on that one.

    Answer me one question with this as a hypothetical- if you really believe in Jesus Christ and his teachings, then what would be a greater evil, according to his teachings, two men loving each other or two men hating each other...

  • noodlez

    Adrian Bent-Me U DISAPPOINT! I HOPE THIS IS NOT A TREND FOR YOU. THAT WOULD MAKE YOU THE WORST THANG IN THE WORLD.

    A LONELY, OLD, DRIED UP RECEIVER. YOU ARE SO PASSE.
    WORD IS THE LATINOS AND ASIANS ARE THE NEW TREND.

    YOU CAN ALWAYS COUNT ON ME THO. ILL BE HERE TO SUPPLEMENT YOUR LIFE WITH BARBS, JOKES, THE TRUTH AND THE OCCASIONAL STINGERS REGARDING YOU COCKSUCKERS.

    LOOKEE HERE. DOWN LOAD SOME MICHAEL FRANKS, SMOKE A J, GET YOUR THOUGHTS TOGETHER THEN COMEBACK AT ME WITH A LIL MORE UMMPH.

    THAT LAST SHIT WAS PITEEFUL!

    AS I SPLAINED TO Scott IM NOT THE RELIGOUS TYPE. YEAH THERE MAY HAVE BEEN THIS JEW THAT WALKED THE EARTH 2K YRS AGO BUT IM NOT INTO HIM LIKE THAT (CHECK PREVIOUS POSTS). HE HAD SOME GOOD QUALITIES BOUT HIM. MUCH RESPECT! SOME I AGREE WITH SOME I DONT. NOT A MUSLIM EITHER!

    TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTION IT DEPENDS FROM YOUR POINT OF VIEW. ME-I THINK THE DUDE BANGD SOME PUSSY. DO THAT MAKE HIM LESS OF A MESSIAH IN MY BOOK? NO! HE LIVED HIS LIFE A CERTAIN WAY BY THE DECISIONS HE MADE. HOWEVA BASED ON THE PREMISE OF YOUR QUESTION THE GREATER EVIL WOULD BE 2 MEN HATIN EACH OTHER.

    THAT DOESNT MEAN 2 MEN HAVIN SEX WITH EACH OTHER IS WHAT HE WAS PROFESSIN. I LOVE THE MEN THAT ARE IN MY LIFE THAT ARE NOT MY BLOOD AND THAT ARE IN MY FAMILY BUT IM NOT GAY OR A HOMSEXUAL. I DONT SEE THEM IN THE WAY THAT SOME FLAMER OR DOWN-LOWER WOULD SEE THEM. IM POSITIVE THOSE FEELINGS ARE RECIPROCAL.

    SLIM ERBODY HAVE DOWN DAYS. TAKE MY ADVICE THEN GET BACK AT ME! TIL THEN.

    HOMOSEXUALITY IS A CHOICE!
    YOU ARE NOT BORN A HOMOSEXUAL!

    GAYTANIA, FENTY, GRAHAM AND BOWSER MUST GO!

    I SEE YA MR. PEEB! IMA WATCHIN.

  • Adrian Bent-Me

    Noodlez- Put down the 40 man cause this shit is pathethic now. You make absolutely no sense, so beating up on a drunken idiot is not my idea of a worthwhile feud. I'll respond tomorrow to you when you're sober and have some idea about what the fuck you're talking about.

  • noodlez

    nwdc SLIM DONT COME AT ME WITH THAT WEAK ASS SHIT!

    YOU MUST BE A CRACKER OR LIKE MY MAN THAT IS TAKIN CHANEY'S DICK (RON CHRISTIE).

    ALWAYS BUTTIN IN WHERE U DONT BELONG!

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