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Washington Post: D.C. Council approves bill legalizing gay marriage in final vote


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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/15/AR2009121500945.html?hpid%3Dtopnews⊂=AR

The D.C. Council approved a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in the District in a final vote Tuesday, capping a debate that has gone on almost all year.

The measure passed 11-2, with members Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) and Yvette Alexander (D-Ward 7) the dissenters. The bill will be sent to Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D), who is expected to sign it before Christmas. The bill will become law this spring if, as expected, it survives a 30-day congressional review period.

"We are on the verge of history," council member David A. Catania (I-At Large), the lead sponsor of the bill, told about 350 same-sex marriage supporters at a pre-vote rally Monday night in Shaw. "For the world to see gays and lesbian couples equal to straight couples in the nation's capital, that is an important message."

Council member Harry Thomas Jr. (D-Ward 5), who also addressed the crowd, said the council was poised to send a signal to the nation that "this is a human rights issue for justice and equality."

"I will stand with you until the day I die," Thomas said. Earlier this year, he wasn't sure whether he would vote for the bill. But two weeks ago, he joined 10 of his colleagues to give tentative approval to the same-sex marriage bill by a vote of 11 to 2. An identical vote total is expected Tuesday.

The only suspense in recent days has been about whether the council would consider amendments to try to assuage some of the concerns the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington has raise about the proposal.

Under the bill, church officials are already exempt from having to participate in same-sex wedding ceremonies or celebrations. But if gay couples are allowed marry, church officials worry Catholic Charities would be forced to extend spousal benefits and adoption services to same-sex couples.

Gay rights activists, who hold considerable sway in city government, counter that by opposing parts of the bill, the church is asking the city to sanction discrimination.

As of Monday night, Catania and council member Phil Mendelson (D-At Large) both said they had been unable to reach an agreement with the church. But Catania and Mendelson, chairman of the committee that oversaw the bill, would not rule out the possibility of a few minor amendments to the bill Tuesday.

Even before the vote, opponents of same-sex marriage were gearing up to try to fight the bill in Congress and the courts.

"The city council's action today is not the final word. The issue is far from over," Bishop Harry Jackson, pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, said in a statement Monday.

Jackson has aligned with Robert King, a longtime Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner in Northeast, the Rev. Walter Fauntroy, a former civil rights leader who was a longtime pastor at New Bethel Baptist Church, and several other religious leaders to try to force a referendum to outlaw same-sex marriage.

But at Monday night's rally, gay men and lesbians were already celebrating.

The Rev. Robert M. Hardies, one of more than 200 local religious figures to endorse same-sex marriage, told the crowd they should be proud of what they have accomplished.

"We have united the community around this issue in ways that people said we could not do," said Hardies, senior pastor of All Souls Church, Unitarian, near Mount Pleasant. "And let me tell you, no matter what happens down the road, that is one victory the United States Congress cannot take away from us."

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/15/AR2009121500945.html?hpid%3Dtopnews⊂=AR

The measure passed 11-2, with members Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) and Yvette Alexander (D-Ward 7) the dissenters.

I always suspected that Marion Barry was in truth a Conservative Republican. There was no other way to explain his actions.

Generally, I support the passage. I figure marriage between two loving people is not a right the government should take away. If religion refuses to sanctify that marriage that's their right too, but the state shouldn't butt in.

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Can it? Unless I missed something, DC passed the earlier law recognizing out-of-state (er, out-of-district, I guess) gay marriages without Congressional approval.

Why can't congress step in and overturn it. They have stepped in many times in the past and overturned things the district has tried to do.

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I always suspected that Marion Barry was in truth a Conservative Republican. There was no other way to explain his actions.

Generally, I support the passage. I figure marriage between two loving people is not a right the government should take away. If religion refuses to sanctify that marriage that's their right too, but the state shouldn't butt in.

DC refused to put this on a referendum because preliminary indications showed it would fail miserably. DC could hardly be called a conservative area. Perhaps more people oppose this for different reasons than your generalities can fathom.
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Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution allows for Congress ,

"To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States "

and under the DC Home Rule Charter, Congress has the authority to overturn or change any laws passed by the City Council and signed by the mayor.

But in reality, I doubt the gay marriage haters in Congress have enough votes to get a resolution passed.

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DC refused to put this on a referendum because preliminary indications showed it would fail miserably. DC could hardly be called a conservative area. Perhaps more people oppose this for different reasons than your generalities can fathom.

If we're talking about religion it actually is a bit conservative. The Rep thing was just a cheap shot that I hoped would be funny.

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But in reality, I doubt the gay marriage haters in Congress have enough votes to get a resolution passed.

Actually, after thinking about it a while, I suspect a better question is "do the haters have enough votes to force it to a vote?"

I wouldn't be at all surprised if there aren't a whole bunch of people in Congress who'd be perfectly making a vote that's not recorded, in favor of not bringing it to the floor, but who, if it's a roll call vote on the floor, would hold their nose and vote to overturn it.

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sad thing is this isn't a civil rights issue. A group of people can't have a right that is physically impossible to have. the difinition of marriage through much of recorded history and even before is between a man and a woman.

Thus anything else isn't marriage by definition. Lifestyle choices don't equal rights.

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sad thing is this isn't a civil rights issue. A group of people can't have a right that is physically impossible to have. the difinition of marriage through much of recorded history and even before is between a man and a woman.

Thus anything else isn't marriage by definition. Lifestyle choices don't equal rights.

thankfully, in just a few more years bigoted views like this will be a fading minority.

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sad thing is this isn't a civil rights issue. A group of people can't have a right that is physically impossible to have. the difinition of marriage through much of recorded history and even before is between a man and a woman.

Thus anything else isn't marriage by definition. Lifestyle choices don't equal rights.

Marriage is defined by whatever the law says it is. :doh:

Black people used to be defined as less than a full citizen. The law now says they are equal.

BTW, living a Christian life is a lifestyle, though im sure you would love to be granted rights on account of that. Heck, living a straight life is a lifestyle. Just because a lifestyle is in the minority doesnt mean that you cant give those people rights. Get over yourself.

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sad thing is this isn't a civil rights issue. A group of people can't have a right that is physically impossible to have. the difinition of marriage through much of recorded history and even before is between a man and a woman.

Thus anything else isn't marriage by definition. Lifestyle choices don't equal rights.

Which is preposterous logic.

Before the 1970's it was ilegal for mixed racial marrages in much of the United States. Always had been that way. So by your logic it would be impossible to change those laws. Yet today it's national news when a justice of the peace doesn't allow a mixed racial couple to marry.

Likewise some races in the united states werent' allowed to marry at times.

Things change.... That's the only constant down through time.

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In a few years nationwide opponents will be able to point at DC's rampant crimes involving guns, drugs and prostitution and say "See ... see what happens to society when you legalize gay marriage"..

Actually DC's rampant crime, drugs and violent deaths peaked some years ago. They are actually on the downward trend. Maybe proponents will point to those figures and claim "see what happens when you closer align your laws with your communities values, Crime goes down."

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In a few years nationwide opponents will be able to point at DC's rampant crimes involving guns, drugs and prostitution and say "See ... see what happens to society when you legalize gay marriage"..
Actually DC's rampant crime, drugs and violent deaths peaked some years ago. They are actually on the downward trend. Maybe proponents will point to those figures and claim "see what happens when you closer align your laws with your communities values, Crime goes down."

Actually, a few years from now, opposing politicians will be pointing at the same statistics, and claiming that they prove different things.

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thankfully, in just a few more years bigoted views like this will be a fading minority.

one, it's not bigoted. Two, if my view is bigoted than so are the opposing sides views.

The arguement is very sound. I'm just sorry that you find it inadequate.

If morality shouldn't be legislated, than it shouldn't be legislated from the opposing side either. Therefore things end up at an impass.

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Marriage is defined by whatever the law says it is. :doh:

Black people used to be defined as less than a full citizen. The law now says they are equal.

BTW, living a Christian life is a lifestyle, though im sure you would love to be granted rights on account of that. Heck, living a straight life is a lifestyle. Just because a lifestyle is in the minority doesnt mean that you cant give those people rights. Get over yourself.

You miss the point, however that's par for the course with people who share your view. I also love the arrogant condesending attitude people like you share. As if your view is the only one and anyone who disagrees is lesser. :doh:

Ok fine, what if the law said marriage is anything anyone wanted? What if people wanted to pass a law that said just that? Nothing is out of bounds. Than where are we?? At what point do we draw the line?

Your morality, or someone elses morality?? Who decides?

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