friends + foes

We’re Thrilled Gay Marriage Is Coming to D.C. (But Not Why You’d Expect)


Well sure, it’s because the homos in our nation’s capital will be able to get married if they want. But more so it’s because of the logistics behind D.C.’s passage of laws. Namely, that Congress has to decide whether it wants to get in on the debate.

The bill — which would change the city’s marriage laws to say “marriage is the legally recognized union of two people” and “any person who otherwise meets the eligibility requirements . . . may marry any other eligible person regardless of gender,” and notes that religious institutions will not be forced to conduct same-sex ceremonies — will be introduced in the coming weeks by gay City Councilman David A. Catania along with 10 co-sponsors. Just in time for Congress’ return from vacation!

It’s expected the measure will score an easy approval from the City Council, which, despite obvious outliers, is saturated with gays support. But the proposed law then enters a review period where Congress can either give it a jock nod and send it on its merry way to becoming the law of the land, or intervene and bring the bill to a full congressional vote so the rest of America’s representiatves can have their say.

And that possibility has us both nervous — and thrilled.

Because it’ll be the first time, in a long time, that we’d get a chance to see exactly where our elected representatives stand on gay rights. With a single yes or no vote on D.C.’s marriage bill, we’d know whether the “on the fence” members of Congress are friends or foes. Do they have our backs? Or are they going to stand behind “the tradition of marriage” and bogus faith convictions to deny equality to the people who live right next to The Capitol?

And from there, we know whether to send ’em campaign donation checks, or mount an offensive to remove them from office. Not that we’re one-issue type of voters; we just don’t support hatred in office.

Most interestingly, however, is that Catania’s bill has not received a blanket rejection from fellow councilman Marion Barry, the former D.C. mayor who voted for recognition of out-of-state gay marriages before railing against the measure with backing from conservative religious types. Barry says he’ll wait for the bill to be introduced, and then “we’ll see.” We will see, too, Mr. Barry.

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