As promised, Washington D.C. Council Member David Catania introduced a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in the District of Columbia. The bill should pass easily. Mayor Adrian Fenty says he will sign the bill.
Ten of the Council's 13 members have signed on as co-sponsors. The three Council members who did not join the majority as co-sponsors—Harry Thomas Jr. (Ward 5), Yvette Alexander (Ward 7) and Marion Barry (Ward 8).—represent majority black communities. Barry, who was a strong gay rights supporter during his term as mayor in the 1980s and early 1990s, emerged as the Council's sole opponent of marriage equality and claimed to oppose it on "moral grounds."
Alexander and Thomas voted for the same-sex marriage recognition bill earlier this year and have said they want to carefully review Catania's full same-sex marriage rights bill before making on final decision on whether they will support it when it comes up for a 'first-reading' vote that's expected in November. Activists familiar with wards 5 and 7 have said Thomas and Alexander are facing intense pressure from ministers and socially conservative constituents to vote against same-sex marriage.
D.C. has a very large and well-to-do black gay community. So far, most have maintained radio silence during the marriage equality debate. Maybe they're still recovering from all the summer circuit parties and barbecues ...
JUMP to watch Catania introduce the bill.