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December 15, 2009

WaPo: Poised to mark a milestone

Washington Post reporter Tim Craig has a profile of D.C. Councilmember David Catania on the occasion of today's second and final reading and vote in the Council on Catania's marriage-equality bill.

The reporter, to advance a point he wanted to make, took a quote of mine somewhat out of context. What I said was that Catania's involvement in the hearings on the bill were his finest hour. The reporter suggests that what others describe as Catania's vindictiveness and bullying are necessary to prod a lethargic Council. In fact, as GLAA's candidate questionnaire compilations have shown, marriage equality has enjoyed overwhelming support on the Council for many years. Disagreements over timing were purely a matter of strategy. The importance of sustaining the push for marriage equality against the efforts of our opponents was underscored by the creation earlier this year of the Campaign for All D.C. Families, which was proposed five years ago by GLAA as part of an analysis of what was necessary to defeat a proposed anti-gay ballot initiative.

The point here is that civil marriage equality in the District of Columbia has been decades in the making. David Catania has made an invaluable contribution and has played a key role this year, but so have many others including Judiciary chairman Phil Mendelson, independent activist (and former GLAA president) Bob Summersgill, DC for Marriage, the Stein Club, and GLAA. At Monday evening's rally for marriage equality, David himself acknowledged the decades of efforts that brought us to this moment. The press should not short-shrift that history, especially when we have documented so much of it for them.

Today, in the D.C. Council chamber, we are indeed, all of us, poised to mark a milestone. Thanks and congratulations to everyone who helped bring us to this moment, including David, Phil, Bob, Congresswoman Norton (who has defended us on Capitol Hill), and many others.

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