Saturday, December 12, 2009

Gay Marriage Bill Close to Final Passage

 By Yasmine Servara –

Opposition Not Backing Down

(December 3, 2009) - WASHINGTON — Despite the District of Columbia City Council’s overwhelming approval of a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in the District on Dec. 1, the opposition said it will continue to fight the measure.

Bishop Harry Jackson, pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville and one of the most visible opponents of the bill, said it’s not over yet. “We’re going to the Hill,” Jackson said, suggesting that opponents would take the issue before Congress.

Jackson said he and Councilman Marion Barry of Ward 8, who was one of only two lawmakers who voted against the bill, will continue to push for a citywide referendum, which the minister claims would bring a different outcome.

“The thing that we are passionately advocating for is that the people need to have a vote,” Jackson said. “This is a big civil rights issue. The people were not represented. The bill passed 11 to 2. That would mean that 85 percent of the people are for same sex marriage and that is not at all the case.”

Councilwoman Yvette M. Alexander of Ward 7 also voted against the legislation. Polls show Black voters are far more likely to oppose the bill than White voters. Barry has said he voted against the bill in response to his constituents.

The vote brings to near closure months of wrangling by council members, the Catholic Archdiocese, gay and lesbian rights advocates and the citizenry over a bill that would give couples of same-sex marriages all the benefits and legal protections of those in heterosexual marriages. The final council vote on the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Amendment Act of 2009 is expected on Dec. 15… Read complete article - By Yasmine Servara –

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