Voters in an “all but marriage” domestic partnership referendum in Washington State and a direct vote on gay marriage in Maine will reshape the debate on this issue in just 26 days.
Washington, D.C. may have already decided without voter input.
The D.C. Council paved the way for that reality – like it nor not – on Tuesday. Ten of the council 13 members signed on to a bill drafted by David Catania, who is openly gay. The number of signatories virtually guarantees it will pass.
According to The Washington Post, Congress has 30 legislative days to strike down the law, which would put a final vote on it in December. There is little political movement from neither Democrats nor Republicans to actively try and reject the law.
Standing in the way is Bishop Harry Jackson of Beltsville, Md., who is awaiting an Oct. 26 hearing by the D.C. Election Board to move toward a citywide referendum on gay marriage. An attempt to derail Catania presenting the bill to begin with was defeated by a D.C. Superior Court judge this summer.
In a July interview with Everyday Christian, Jackson was adamant that allowing gay marriage in the nation’s capital would fly in the face of the District’s predominantly African-American population.
“You can just look at someone and tell if they are black or Hispanic and understand discriminating by appearance,” he said. “Being gay is a behavior. It’s a lifestyle choice that has been made.
“In that context you can’t marry your relatives; you can’t have a 60 year-old marrying a 6-year-old and so forth. Society has said we hold marriage to such a high standard that it has been a benefit to our culture that it is valid in specific cases.”
Whether you agree with Jackson or not, there are two undeniable facts to consider as the debate moves forward:
1. The symbolic value to gay marriage advocates of having the seat of American power validate the philosophy, and,
2. The fact that D.C. would join five other states in having approved gay marriage, none of them would have been by direct voter approval.
The second point alone is reason why if you live in Washington State or Maine, regardless of your stance, your voice needs to be heard Nov.3.