Michael Crawford

DC Community Prepares for Marriage Fight

Filed By Michael Crawford | January 09, 2009 1:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: David Catania, gay marriage in DC, Jim Graham

Here's a quick update on efforts to win marriage equality in Washington, DC and info on an upcoming event for folks wanting know more about getting involved.

In this excerpt from a DC community forum on marriage organized by DC for Marriage last month, I outline the challenges and opportunities we face in winning marriage in the District.

Members of the DC City Council including openly gay members David Catania and Jim Graham are working on strategy for a marriage bill's introduction. In DC we are in the enviable position of having the overwhelmingly majority of our elected officials on record as supporting a bill to end marriage discrimination against same-sex couples.

We are also unique in that Congress has oversight over laws passed in the District. That means that Congress can prevent or delay a marriage law from going into effect.

There is also the possibility that we would face an initiative or referendum to block marriage for same-sex couples similar to anti-gay campaigns that stripped marriage from same-sex couples in California and that prohibit marriages in Arizona, Florida and numerous other states.

In preparation for a marriage fight, DC for Marriage, a project of the DC LGBT Community Center, is working with local and national organizations to create a campaign to win and retain marriage equality. As we move forward, we are going to need the help of everyone LGBT and allied who believes in equal marriage rights.

A fundraiser for DC for Marriage will be held on Sunday, January 11 at Be Bar located at 1318 9th Street NW. The event will be be from 5-8pm with the $5 admission and 10% of the proceeds going to DC for Marriage.

Disclosure: I am chair of DC for Marriage and member of the board of directors of the DC Center.

To get involved, email me at michael@dcformarriage.org.


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Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the chances awfully high that Congress will simply overturn the law? I doubt you have time to worry about a Prop 8 style battle; those Republicans and conservative Democrats will have to prove that "Even with Obama in office, we still ain't gonna let those queers get married to each other! Doggone it!"

If DC can get a bill through the council and signed by the mayor,and defending the law against a recall the argument to Congress becomes one of "this is the will of the people". Republicans and conservatives in general yammer on about the will of the people while railing against activist judges. Instant case of vox populi winning the day or showing some for the hypocrites they are.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | January 10, 2009 3:23 AM

I think that Michael's point about engaging with African American faith based groups is spot on. Usually we (I) sneer at all forms of organized religion, but we need to change minds here more than anywhere. It has only ever been about education and organization.

Good luck. Sounds good as a plan on paper, but how realistic is it ? The hope would be to get President Elect Obama or the DNC behind it, but that seems unlikely given his view that "marriage is between one man and one woman". NAACP may be a logical place to start, but with a half million dollar grant, they didn't help Prop 8 much in California.
Black Civil rights are grounded in Christianity --not something separate and apart from religion but synonymous with it.
For LGBT's to outreach to black fundamental relgions regarding same sex anything, seems futile. Many LGBT's have tried for years to educate Falwell, Robertson ect., and the situation seems to be getting worse.