History was made Friday, December 18, when Washington, D.C., mayor Adrian M. Fenty signed a bill in the sanctuary of All Souls Church, Unitarian, legalizing same-sex marriage in the District of Columbia. The law was approved by the D.C. City Council December 15.
The Rev. Robert Hardies, senior minister at All Souls, is co-chair of D.C. Clergy United for Marriage Equality, one of the groups instrumental in securing the law’s passage. “I applaud Mayor Fenty and the D.C. Council for standing on the side of love and ending discrimination against gay and lesbian Washingtonians,” he said in remarks during the signing ceremony. Photo - examiner.com
In addition to Fenty and Hardies, D.C. city counselors Vincent Gray, Jim Graham, David Catania, and Phil Mendelson spoke. When Fenty finished signing the document, a crowd of several hundred erupted in cheers. Around 100 members of the All Souls congregation were among the crowd, according to Adam Gerhardstein of the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Washington Office for Advocacy, including many supporters of the UUA’s Standing on the Side of Love public advocacy campaign.
The choice of All Souls for the signing was ideal, counselor Graham told the Washington Post. “ It’s great that [the mayor’s] chosen one of the key churches in this struggle, rather, in this victory, in the most diverse ward in the city.” Photo AFRO
Hardies credited strong multi-faith religious support as a key factor in the law’s passage. The Rev. Christine Y. Wiley and the Rev. Dennis W. Wiley, ministers of the predominantly African American Covenant Baptist Church, co-chair D.C. Clergy United with Hardies. “From the very beginning we built a multiracial, multicultural clergy group to support marriage equality,” Hardies told UU World, “so we could avoid some of the myths that are often told about marriage equality: that it pits black people against white people and people of faith against secular people.” Read complete article - By Jane Greer - UU World Magazine