Another high-profile black politician comes out for gay marriage. Marion Barry, the former mayor of Washington DC and current member of DC Council, announces he will support a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in the District. The Washington Blade reports this is the first time the former mayor has publicly taken a position on marriage equality.
[Barry's] remarks came on June 18 at a meeting of the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club, Washingtonâs largest gay political group, Until the Stein Club's meeting last week, Barry had declined to say whether he would support legislation to legalize same-sex marriage. In response to a question at the meeting, Barry said, "I don't think you should make that question a litmus test. But if a bill like that were to come up, I would vote for it."
In addition to Barry, "nine of the 10 rival candidates who attended the club's endorsement meeting for the three Council seats also said they would vote for a same-sex marriage bill."
Only two weeks ago, Washington DC's hottie and gay-friendly mayor, Adrian Fenty, ordered a top-down review of the city's legal options for same-sex couples in the District who go to California to marry and ask the DC government to recognize their marriages.
When you mention Marion Barry's name, the first thing that comes to mind could be his well-publicized 1990 arrest and subsequent incarceration. But it's important to remember the former three-term mayor was an early and strong supporters of gay rights in the 1970s and is credited with "setting the tone for making Washington one of the nation’s most gay-supportive cities." IIRC, the old BLK magazine once published an issue that featured black and white photos of Barry marching in a gay pride parade in the 1980s. Marion Barry began his career as a civil rights activist in the early 1960s and it seems only logical he would segue to marriage equality. The former mayor certainly has the street cred in SE DC to influence ministers and organizations to come support gay marriage ... or, at least, not oppose it..
Barry announces support for gay marriage [Wash Blade]
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