DC City Council Passes Marriage Equality Bill. WE WON SOMETHING.

DC: With a vote of 11-2, the DC City Council passed a bill this afternoon that would allow same-sex marriage in the city.

David Catania, who introduced the bill and is one of two openly gay council members, called the bill a “matter of social justice” before the vote.

Two members voted “I do” when their names came up [how cute!], and when the vote finished a packed chamber erupted into cheers and clapping. The “no” votes included former mayor Marion Barry, now a council member.

It’s not law yet, it goes to the mayor’s desk now. He has promised to sign the bill and is expected to do so on Thursday. After that, Congress must approve it. They have 30 days to reject the bill, and many opponents have threatened to lobby Congress to overturn the City Council’s vote. But the Democratic leadership doesn’t seem likely to do that. If passed, the marriage equality bill would probably be fully in effect by March.ME-BarryTax

The “no” votes included former mayor Marion Barry. (Listen to that here, where he says everyone should look at his distinguished record for bucking the tide instead of at this one vote.) Just so we’re all on the same page here, a quick FYI: Barry was convicted on federal drug charges in 1990 for which he served six months in federal prison. In ’02, the U.S. Park Police found traces of marijuana and cocaine in his car. He’s also been in trouble for tax fraud, failing to pay his taxes, traffic violations, and misdemeanor stalking.

On the gay marriage bill, Barry has said: “All hell is going to break loose. We may have a civil war. The black community is just adamant against this.” In response to Barry’s prediction of a civil war and his conviction that his entire district is against gay marriage, Blogger Mo’Kelly says: “Take it for what it is…a crackhead’s opinion. Yes, in pure numbers it’s fair to say that the majority of African-Americans may not be in agreement with gay marriage, but it is unfair to broad stroke allege that the whole of the community is adamant against it.  It’s simply untrue.” Apparently Barry hasn’t taken the time to get the memo on this. (@ap)

From Queerty: “The National Organization for Marriage is already spitfiring after D.C.’s marriage vote. Maggie Gallagher & Co. are promising, via Twitter, to take down Councilman David Catania’s radical homosexual activist agenda.”

From NPR: If you haven’t already, you really must check out the Interactive Map they’ve got over at NPR of marriage laws by state.

mitrice-richardsonMISSING WOMAN: Mitrice Richardson has been missing for about three months now, but police have some new evidence about her state of mind when she disappeared. After analyzing her journals, they believe she may have been suffering from bipolar disorder and possibly had a breakdown in the days leading up to her disappearance. The LA County Sheriff’s Department arrested Richardson on Sept. 16 after a restaurant reported her for not paying a bill. At that point, Richardson hadn’t slept in five days. They then released her without her cell phone or purse.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas called for an investigation into the department’s practices. Richardson’s father said he is “outraged” that the department released her without a mental evaluation, even though staff and patrons at the restaurant told deputies she was acting strangely (@latimes)

UGANDA:“Apropos of everyone asking why there’s been no real public condemnation of Uganda’s Kill The Gays bill, Sec. of State Hillary Clinton finally went off on the country’s planned state-sponsored identity cleansing.

TOO MUCH?: The Philadelphia Enquirer explores whether same-sex marriage supporters were TOO vocal in New Jersey. They focus on Steven Goldstein, who was responsible for bringing together a lot of the supporters at last week’s NJ Senate hearing-that-would-never-end. I suppose threatening political retribution on lawmakers who vote no might be a little much. But at this point, what are we supposed to do? I guess he should’ve been a nice, quiet gay who sits in the back of the room waiting for his rights. (@philly.com)

GAY BUSINESS: Yesterday, The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) announced a partnership with the Gay Ad Network. The companies hope to make it easier for LGBT-owned businesses to advertise on websites in the Gay Ad Network, like we already do!

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!


Sarah lives in Chicago with her partner and her big white Great Dane. She is a lawyer by day and a beer brewer/bread baker/knitter by night. She & her partner are currently learning how to grow their own food, and eventually they hope to move to a small farm outside the city. In 2009-2010, before jetting off to law school, Sarah was Autostraddle's Managing Editor.

Sarah has written 127 articles for us.


  1. Pingback: About same-sex marriage bill, legalize gay marriage, dc gay marriage bill, washington city council | Find me About

  2. On the gay marriage bill, Barry has said: “All hell is going to break loose. We may have a civil war. The black community is just adamant against this.”

    he is a complete asshole for that wow, speaking out for the entire community? What a moron…wait and did you say misdemeanor stalking? LMAO This guy shouldn’t be allowed to vote or speak out on anything whatsoever.

    Eiether way congrats to D.C I hope Obama doesen’t flip this on us the way he flipped many things including sending 30,000 to Afghanistan

    and I might get cursed or yelled at but am I the only one that doesn’t think Obama deserved a Nobel Peace Prize, comparing himself to King, Mandella and other receivers…I think its a far stretch

    Okay i’m gettin off topic good read :-)

    Urban Lesbian Site http://www.lez-behonest.com
    My Personal Blog http://www.alipstickdiary.com

    • omg you have my favorite username since maybe ever. also, oh man, marion barry. does anyone else feel like he is an overblown SNL sketch or something? like, he might be hilarious if he were not a real person?

  3. Most anti-gay hypocrites are more sad than funny. But Marion Barry? I just have to laugh. Dude was hilarious when he was caught with the drugs and the hookers and he’s hilarious now. I mean, would we really want him on our side, with all the moral majority crap about promiscuity and drugs being the center of our community? Forget it. Let’s leave him on the other side where we can comfortably laugh our asses off at him and his antics.

    (Anyway, it passed. That makes it easy to find the funny.)

  4. ‘kay guys- FACT CHECK TIME.

    Homosexuality has been illegal in Uganda WAAAAYYY before this bill was drafted. It’s specifically outlined in their constitution, where the death penalty has always been an option.

    The fact that the death penalty has been REMOVED from the current bill is a FANTASTIC STEP FORWARD. So stop hating.

    Kudos to Clinton for addressing the issue though. Why wasn’t I at that speech?! It was 10 min. from my place!

  5. you know I think what bothers me the most is that its legal to marry your FIRST cousin in over 20 states but gay marriage is legal in only a handful of states….good job america

  6. This Marrion Barry cat had got entirely too much history to be a council member! Like, really? Taxes (or lack thereof)! Traffic violations! Stalking?! Guess whose black and totally for gay marriage, asshole? Crackheads love to talk shit.

    Stupid National Organization for Marriage, go choke on a radical homosexual activist agenda or something.

    I imagine the people in the room with Hilary suddenly thinking “Oh no, she dropped the U-bomb! Now we have to deal with it!” *sigh* At least someone mentioned it, Hilary is the right person for Secretary of State, if she’s the only one willing to talk about Uganda.

    “I guess he should’ve been a nice, quiet gay who sits in the back of the room waiting for his rights.” This quote means a lot more than you think. It made me really nod my head and be surged with feelings.

Comments are closed.