Even after Washington D.C.’s City Council approved a measure to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages, and even after pro-gay Mayor Adrian Fenty voiced his support, we still had to deal with the lies of Councilman Marion Barry’s anti-gay rhetoric. Prone to soundbite antics, Barry said, “We may have a civil war. The black community is just adamant against this.” And then he turned to some friends in Congress, who regulate D.C.’s laws, to keep gay marriage out of D.C. And now? He’s found support.
Some 33 members of Congress (including two Democrats) have backed the D.C. Defense of Marriage Act, introduced yesterday, which would revoke the City Council’s measure and permanently ban any recognition of same-sex marriage in our nation’s capital. Co-sponsored by Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan and Okalhoma Rep. Dan Boren (a Democrat), the bill is not part of Congress’ 30-day window to review all D.C. laws; it is a new, separate bill. It reads: “That in the District of Columbia, for all legal purposes, ‘marriage’ means the union of one man and one woman.”
“The family is truly the foundational institution of our nation, and marriage is its cornerstone,” says Jordan. “I look forward to working with the D.C. community, a majority of who — like a majority of Americans — support traditional marriage. This is a fight we cannot shy away from, and it is a fight we have to win.”
And there was religious support. “Twelve people just decided this issue,” said Bishop Harry Jackson of Lanham’s Hope Christian Church, a staunch anti-gay advocate. The voice of the people of D.C. will be fairly and justly heard.”
But for all the publicity, it’s unlikely the bill will pass. It will have to make its way through the Democratic-controlled House, the Democratic-controlled Senate, and then to the White House, where even Barack Obama should be reluctant to sign it, given that he wants states (and independent cities?) to work out their marital issues. Or at least that’s what he once told us.