GLAA Member Alert: Disinformation from The Washington Times on GLBT families
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GLAA Member Alert:
Disinformation from The Washington Times on GLBT families


Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, DC
P.O. Box 75265, Washington, DC 20013
202-667-5139


From:Rick Rosendall
Sent:Wednesday, January 28, 2009 11:28 AM
To:GLAA Members
Subject:Disinformation from The Washington Times on GLBT families


Friends,

Below is an obnoxious editorial from yesterday’s Washington Times. It refers to Bill 18-0066, “The Domestic Partnership Judicial Determination of Parentage Act of 2009.” It was previously Bill 17-0727, and was reintroduced in the new D.C. Council session. It was assigned to the Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary, chaired by our old friend Phil Mendelson. GLAA strongly supports this bill, and our testimony from last July can be found at:
http://www.glaa.org/archive/2008/glaaondpbills0711.shtml

The purpose of the bill is to clearly establish the relationship of a child to both of its parents in a domestic partnership. This improves legal protections for such children. The Times’ disinformation notwithstanding, this is not about marriage but is simply the latest in a long series of bills expanding the legal protections of families headed by domestic partners. The Times demonstrates once again that it does not want our families to have any legal protections, even short of marriage. As to the charge that the District is slipping its agenda through the back door via this bill, in fact there were public hearings on the bill last July, which were announced beforehand in the D.C. Register as with any other bill. GLAA’s testimony presented at that hearing has been available on our public website since then. Anyone concerned about the bill, which is similar to provisions already in place in several states, was free to sign up and testify the same as GLAA and others did.

As you can see from this page on the Council’s Legislative Information Management System –
http://www.dccouncil.washington.dc.us/lims/searchbylegislation.aspx
the bill was co-introduced by Councilmembers Mendelson and Evans and co-sponsored by nine others. If the voters objected to the Council’s strong support for the rights of domestic partners (and for that matter their stated support for marriage equality, which has yet to be tested legislatively), the voters could express their displeasure at election time. In fact, however, local candidates who have demagogued against gay families in recent elections—such as Vincent Orange in the 2006 mayoral race, who called his opponents unfit for office because of their support for marriage equality—fared badly at the polls.

The Times may not like the District’s strong support for GLBT families, but the notion that our legal protections have been slipped by the voters secretly is a demonstrable lie. Of course, the radical right likes to claim that any protections for us must be done by voter initiative, as if the entire structure of our representative form of government is rendered illegitimate in cases where the right wing doesn’t get its way. This posture by the far right is a pernicious act of bad faith. As to adoptions, same-sex couples have been able to adopt since a court ruling in 1995, and the U.S. House of Representatives voted in 1999 not to change this.

Whether the Times likes it or not, GLBT people are taxpaying citizens and we vote. Decades of public activism here in the District of Columbia have resulted in overwhelming support by our city’s legislators for our equality under the law. We are most appreciative of our councilmembers’ continued commitment to justice. Anyone who wants to weigh in with the Times can write to: Letters to the Editor, The Washington Times, 3600 New York Ave. NE, Washington, D.C. 20002, Email letters@washingtontimes.com. The Editorial Page Editor is Deborah Simmons, email dsimmons@washingtontimes.com. And let’s make sure to be more civil toward them than they are toward us.


Best,

Rick Rosendall
Vice President for Political Affairs
Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, D.C.
www.glaa.org


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