Rights Fights

D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty: Gay Marriage in the Capital ‘Will Eventually Happen’

Handsome devil Adrian Fenty is not a model. He is the mayor of Washington D.C., that little city that just (preliminarily) agreed to recognize same-sex marriages from states where it’s legal, a decision that came just minutes after Vermont’s legislature approved marriage equality there. Of course, Congress can veto the measure, since D.C.’s jurisdiction actually rests in their hands. But we’ve got an ally on our side: Mayor Fenty, who says succinctly, “I support gay marriage.” But how does he think Congress will react?

Q: Do you think Congress will, using their 30 day review period, that they have on all legislation coming out of the District…the Wilson Building. To what extent are you are you worried they will move on this?

FENTY: I can never say for sure what Congress will do. I hope they will respect the will of the Council of the District of Columbia.

Q: Would you be involved in any effort that might be needed to beat back any eruption of this issue on the Hill?

FENTY: It really just depends how it erupts. It’s like gun rights. People have strong views on this matter … but I think some are using it in some ways as a soapbox. Some congressmen are using that to reinforce to constituents back home where they are on gun rights. I don’t think they really care one way or another … if some Congressman is trying to score chips to win back home, there is nothing you can do.

Q: Should gay marriages be performed in the District? Should your citizens who don’t want to go somewhere else… be able to get married?

FENTY: That will eventually happen. That was discussed a lot in the mayoral campaign. There are GLBT organizations that differ. Not because they don’t support marriage, but they differ on when it should go forward.. I have always said I will sign the bill, whether I was on the council or mayor, I would either vote for legislation or sign legislation… Again there is no question where the City Council stands. We have a unanimous vote. We have a great City Council. It is probably the same with voters. The question is when is the right time when we will get the least congressional push back. But we have LGBT organizations that debated this issue at least 2 years ago.

[WTOP via Rod 2.0]

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  • Chris

    Crystal Ball says: Senator Fenty (D – Columbia), elected in 2020.

  • rogue dandelion

    ANTM Adrian Fenty 2010

  • lippy

    Dear Queerty,

    Would you please quit giving the mayor blow-job coverage? He’s an arrogant power-hoarder who doesn’t listen to anyone! (He’s on the right side of the gay rights issue which is about as complicated as whether 2 + 2 equals 4.) But he’s autocrat who needs to be voted out ASAP!

    And your lead about his looks is disgusting! I no longer respect your publication.

  • flippy

    @lippy: Said like a true DC homosexual.

  • JesseAlred

    I am veteran teacher from Houston seeking a dialogue with current and past Teach for America teachers regarding a pattern of TFA leaders and alumni in leadership positions promoting conservative ideas and profiting from close relationships with reactionary corporations while presumptuously claiming to be the new civil rights movement. I first became aware of this when a former local TFA Director, now a school board member, recently proposed to fire teachers based on test scores and opposed allowing us to vote to have a single union.

    The conservative-TFA nexus began when Union Carbide sponsored Wendy Kopp’s initial efforts to create Teach for America. Union Carbide’s negligence had caused the worst industrial accident in history, in Bhopal, India. The number of casualties was as large as 100,000, and Union Carbide did everything possible to minimize taking responsibility.

    Ms. Kopp wrote in her book she nearly went to work for the Edison Project, and was all but saved in financial hard times by their managerial assistance. The Edison Project, founded by a Tennessee entrepreneur, was an effort to replace public schools run by elected school boards with for-profit, corporate-run schools. Her husband, Richard Barth, was an Edison executive before taking over at KIPP Foundation.

    In 2000, two brilliant TFA alumni, the founders of KIPP Academy, then joined the Bush’s at the Republican National Convention in 2000. This was pivotal for Bush, since as Governor he did not have any genuine education achievements. These charter schools do great service, but they start with families that are committed to education. They claim they are improving public schools by offering competition in the market-place, but they take the best and leave the rest. What sort of competition is that?

    Superintendent Michelle Rhee’s prescription for improving D.C. schools: close them rather than improve them—and fire teachers rather than inspire them.

    TFA teachers do great work. But better schools are only part of the solution. Stable families are more able to be ambitious for their children than insecure, overworked and struggling ones. We need national health care, a stronger union movement, long-term unemployment benefits, generous college funding, immigration reform, trade policy, freedom for alternative lifestyles and reductions in military spending. Specifically, we need to enlarge the middle class by any means necessary.

    Our society has failed our schools by permitting the middle class to shrink. It’s not the other way around. Economic inequality and insecurity fosters the achievement gap. Its not the other way around. Blaming teachers, public schools and our unions feeds corporate ideology and their power. Corporate domination of politics, and the weakness of counter-balancing forces like unions, are the obstacles to progressive change.

    Ms. Kopp claims to be in the tradition of the civil rights movement, but Martin Luther King would take principled positions—against the Vietnam War and for the Poor Peoples March—even when it pissed off powerful people. His final speech was for striking sanitation workers. His last book argued for modifying American capitalism to include some measure of wealth distribution. I would like a dialogue about what I have written here. My e-mail is [email protected]. You as an individual TFA teacher has a responsibility here because your work gives TFA leaders credibility. Its not the other way around.

  • Mark M

    You guys grab your ankles for a pretty face.

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