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Ear to the Ground

D.C. Council Opens Its Eyes

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Posted on May 6, 2009
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Under Home Rule, the District of Columbia’s laws are subject to approval by Congress.

The D.C. council passed a measure Tuesday to recognize same-sex marriages within the district by a 12-1 vote—with D.C. stalwart/weirdo Marion Barry casting the lone dissension. The result will likely prime the debate on legalizing same-sex marriage in D.C.

The Washington Post:

The D.C. Council overwhelmingly approved a bill yesterday to recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere, in a vote that followed a sharp exchange between an openly gay member and a civil rights champion and set off shouts of reproach from local ministers.

The council passed the measure by a vote of 12 to 1. During the debate, council member David A. Catania (I-At Large) accused Marion Barry (D-Ward 8), who cast the dissenting vote, of having taken a “bigoted” position.

After the vote, enraged African American ministers stormed the hallway outside the council chambers and vowed that they will work to oust the members who supported the bill, which was sponsored by Phil Mendelson (D-At Large). They caused such an uproar that security officers and D.C. police were called in to clear the hallway.

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By RobertinWestbury, May 7, 2009 at 5:58 pm Link to this comment

dcphillygermany, I agree with you wholeheartedly.  And I want to acknowledge that most of the votes from this DC council were cast by black council members.  Only one, Marion Barry, voted against. 

That fact, and the fact they did so in the face of such fierce opposition from ministers of their own community is courageous and commendable.  As a gay man (a white one to boot), I’d like to thank all of them. 

Still, I want to mention that neither mech’elsamberg or hippieforever identifed themselves as gay, so saying, “I find you generalizations about our community to be as dangerous and offensive as generalizations regarding any group… like say, homosexuals…” 

...may not have much affect on them.

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By dcphillygermany, May 6, 2009 at 6:36 pm Link to this comment
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@ hippie4ever,
As an African American male who is a DC native and product of the DC public school system, I find you generalizations about our community to be as dangerous and offensive as generalizations regarding any group… like say, homosexuals…

Have either you or mech’elsamberg LIVED in the District and had any meaningful and personal interaction with any African American person in DC or elsewhere for any significant period of time?  Your observations on a select few people of color in Oakland or wherever you live does not make you an expert on that community…

Sure, ridicule of Marion Barry is well deserved and due to no fault of anyone but himself.  However, the cultural, racial and ethnic fabric and politics of most communities are usually far deeper and more complicated than any generalizations…I would suggest that even if you are just venting your frustrations, your comments do more to alienate and divide than they do to shed light on maturely discussing and resolving differences and living together the best way we all can…Maybe y’all should start with yourselves and the communities you live in first before casting aspersions on mine…

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By mech'elsamberg, May 6, 2009 at 11:29 am Link to this comment

LMAO. You don’t need to tell me about the black community.  I live in Oakland.

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By hippie4ever, May 6, 2009 at 8:21 am Link to this comment

Marion Berry is still in D.C. politics—wow, that’s longevity. Guess his 12-step program really helped, or not.

African-Americans as a group are extremely homophobic—more than anyone else they voted for Prop 8 here in California. Of course if you write or speak about this it’s very un-PC and you run the risk of being called a racist. Still, the truth persists and when I hear somebody going off about “faggots” or “queers” on the street it isn’t a Joe-the-Bummer type but invariably a young African-American male.

Maybe because so many Black children grow up in broken homes headed by a female, without a strong male role model. These poor kids don’t know what masculinity is, and exagerate its rougher attributes.

Obama by the way does not support same-sex marriage, so this isn’t merely a problem created by lack of education. The POTUS believes fidelity the exclusive perogative of heterosexuals, so he hasn’t a clue about human nature and is apparently a bit stunted.

The ministers are no doubt (at this very moment) preparing their sermons fully loaded with crazy talk. Whatever works to keep people powerless and in their places. They wouldn’t hold power if everyone was free to live their lives openly, and they know it.

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By mech'elsamberg, May 6, 2009 at 8:10 am Link to this comment

Recognize but not legalize?  No wonder our country is going down the tubes with such double talk.  And a coke freak womanizer cast the lone dissenting vote.  As for the ministers, why don’t they attend to religious and spiritual matters and stay out of politics?  Jesus would look down on these bigots.

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