Sean Bugg

A Marriage Win in D.C. is a Win for Everyone

Filed By Sean Bugg | March 30, 2009 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality, Politics, The Movement
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So I was settling down to judge some martinis at Beacon Bar and Grill this past week with some local notables who were my fellow judges, including D.C. Councilmember David Catania. While waiting for the contest to begin my chat with him naturally turned to the current efforts to bring marriage equality to D.C. I didn't walk away with any insider information on when Catania is going to introduce his marriage bill but I get the distinct impression that we all need to start fastening our seatbelts right about now.

What was funny to me, though, was his reaction when I mentioned that these days I'm actually a Virginia resident -- namely, the usual shock and horror.

Even though I've written about my experience as a newly minted Virginian, after 15-plus years living in the District, I still fairly regularly find myself defending the move. And it's not particularly surprising, given that in my younger days I engaged in a fair amount of suburb bashing myself -- I've written whole columns comparing dates in the suburbs to canoeing in Deliverance, and worse.

Point being, be careful who you criticize today, because you may be living their life tomorrow.


I do hope that everyone in the suburbs gives support to D.C. for Marriage and any other individuals and organizations working to make marriage equality a reality on the nation's capital, the same as I hope the city's LGBT community helps us continue to make strides in the changing the political atmosphere in Virginia (which decades of far-right control has rendered particularly poisonous in the legislature) and in achieving significant goals in equality in Maryland.

It can be easy to lose sight of amidst the jurisdictional tangle that defines the Washington region, but we really are all in this together. A victory in one only helps move us forward in the others. So get the seatbelt fastened and prepare to move forward.


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Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | March 30, 2009 10:01 PM

Winning and keeping marriage in the District is not going to be an easy matter. Not only will we possibly face a Prop 8 style ballot fight, but we will also have to deal with the possibility of Congressional intervention.

Fasten our belts we must because this will likely be the fight of our lives in DC.

Bob Summersgill | March 31, 2009 7:01 AM

Michael, I don't think that we should pretend that there is "the possibility of Congressional intervention." It is a virtual certainty.

Unfortunately, our current Congressional strategy seems to be "maybe they won't do anything." This seems to be David Catania's attitude and it is why he is rapidly losing support from gay rights groups who will have to deal with the mess that he creates.

Thank you for all the work that you are doing, but it won't mean anything if the Congress imposes a mini-DOMA on D.C.

We need to approach this as a coordinated national campaign. Unfortunately for D.C., the national groups see their goals as passing ENDA, Hate Crimes, repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, domestic partnership benefits for federal workers, and other major bills. David Catania's recklessness only imperils their aims.