Ward 8 Democrats endorse civil marriage equality
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Ward 8 Democrats endorse civil marriage equality

From:Rick Rosendall
Sent:Sunday, May 17, 2009 1:26 AM
To:GLAA Members
Subject:Ward 8 Democrats endorse civil marriage equality


On Saturday afternoon, May 16, DC’s Ward 8 Democrats voted 21 to 11 in favor of Philip Pannell's resolution supporting civil marriage equality. In addition to Philip, speaking in favor of equality was Rev. Dennis Wiley of Ward 8’s gay-affirming Covenant Baptist Church. Speaking against was a Rev. Walker.  Philip and Rev. Wiley were in fine form. Councilmember Marion Barry, who was also scheduled to speak against the resolution, missed the forum because he was called in for some tests by his doctor. Rev. Walker kept saying that gay people already had the same rights as straight people. Rev. Wiley pointed out that gay people do not have the right to marry the person they love. This seemed hard for Rev. Walker to grasp. Walker seemed quite put out at being contradicted by a fellow minister.

The opponents of the resolution objected to the 13 members of the D.C. Council passing and Mayor Fenty signing the prospective marriage equality bill, and insisted that the people must vote directly on it. One opponent said that the 13 should not place their judgment before that of the city’s 600,000 residents—as if the former were not duly elected by the latter to legislate. We will now hear various complaints about the process, but the fact is that the pro-equality members of Ward 8 Democrats won according to the rules. I was proud to witness it.

Prior to the vote on the resolution, there was a motion to table it, requiring two-thirds, and it failed on a 19 to 19 vote.

It was a great day for Washington. We had a good turnout, which was key. Kudos to all who helped that effort, including Paquita Wiggins, Jeffrey Richardson, Carlene Cheatam, and Michael Crawford. Philip’s presentation was excellent, and I’ll forward it when he sends it to me. Both Philip’s remarks and the resolution itself underscored the First Amendment guarantee that no religious organization would be required to conduct or affirm any marriage of which it disapproved.

Here is a link to a news story in The Washington Post:


The next Democratic ward organizations considering marriage equality resolutions are as follows:

Ward 5 Democrats
Monday, May 18, 7PM
Michigan Park Christian Church
1600 Taylor St NE

Ward 6 Democrats:
Tuesday, May 19, 7pm
Southeast Branch Library
Eastern Market

For more information on Democratic organizing, see the Stein Club website at:

GLAA is non-partisan, of course, but on this issue we have common cause.

GLAA’s talking points on marriage are online at:

Rick Rosendall
VP for Political Affairs
Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance www.glaa.org

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