LGBT

D.C. to Recognize Gay Marriages? Plus, Hat Eating.

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The D.C. City Council voted today to recognize gay marriage performed in states where such marriages are legal. Two points:

1) Whoo hoo!

2) Now the proposal has to go to Congress. This will be a telling moment for gay rights and Democrats. I've written before about the semi-abusive relationship that gay Americans have with the Democratic Party: Dems treat gays badly (remember Rick Warren at the inauguration?), but they keep coming back—not that Republicans are offering a viable alternative, God knows.

This case offers Congress the wimpiest, squishiest gay marriage test vote imaginable. Just little old D.C. recognizing marriages performed elsewhere. The people's representatives in the city have already spoken. All they're looking for is approval of a decision already made by a democratically elected body. Democrats have a crushing majority in Congress. But I'll eat my fanciful Derby Day hat if congressional Democrats come through and do right by this faithful constituency. So where will that leave gay politics? The country's views are changing dramatically on this issue, but Democrats still sound almost as conservative as Republicans. Maybe I'm too pessimistic. Can gays in D.C. hope for change? And, if I'm wrong, I'll joyously throw a chapeau dinner party. Does anyone have a good hat recipe, just in case?

gay hats

More on the momentum of gay marriage in America here. I'm sympathetic to the proposals to get the government out of the marriage business altogether, too. But sometimes you have to take what you can get.

Bonus: A classic Marion Barry moment in the Washington Post story:

D.C. Council Votes 12-1 to Recognize Other States' Gay Marriages

UPDATE 2: After further debate, a second vote was taken, with D.C. Council member Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) deciding to vote against the proposal. The final count is 12-1 in favor of recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states.

UPDATE: D.C. Council member Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) has now asked that the gay marriage bill be reconsidered. He didn't realize what he was voting on before.

He just gave a speech saying he is going to vote against it so it won't be unanimous vote. The council is now debating the bill.

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  1. Reserving this space to question Reason’s stance and the author’s stance on gay marriage.

  2. If any accessory screams “please beat me, homophobes” it’s a pink cowboy hat with a jewelled tiara built into it.

  3. Sarcasm aside I can see Congress shooting itself in the foot. It will depend on how the subject polls at home for most of them. It’s good to know we can have gay people marry, but can’t own a gun or send your kid to a decent school in D.C.

  4. If any accessory screams “please beat me, homophobes” it’s a pink cowboy hat with a jewelled tiara built into it.

    Are you saying you don’t like my hat? Is it the tiara that is too much or the pink? Or are they okay as separates, but just too much together?

  5. I would not be surprised in the slightest if the Dem majority screws the gays.

  6. I eagerly await the Congressional vote on this one. This will definitely tell the tale.

  7. KMW,

    I’m sympathetic to the proposals to get the government out of the marriage business altogether, too. But sometimes you have to take what you can get.

    Huh? Like ‘I’m sympathetic to the proposals to get the government out of the welfare business altogether, too. But let’s add everybody else who does not get it to the roles, just to make it fair.’ Like that?

  8. I’m still pissed they allowed the Irish to marry Italians…

  9. If any accessory screams “please beat me, homophobes” it’s a pink cowboy hat with a jewelled tiara built into it.

    But I’m sure that’s the “best” photo KM-W could find of a gay male couple.

  10. I would like to see this question at BHO’s next townhall meeting:

    “How does your position on gay marriage differ from Miss California’s?”

  11. I’m still pissed they allowed the Irish to marry Italians…

    Please. We are talking about humans here.

  12. It is awesome to have Marion Barry in politics still.

  13. Marion Barry should be the new pitchman for cocaine-related energy drinks.

  14. But I’m sure that’s the “best” photo KM-W could find of a gay male couple.

    This better?

  15. Look, Irish/Italian couples, or “McWops” as I like to call them, are smart enough not to take the most iconic heargear of the least tolerant stereotype of american lore and sissy it up.
    I mean, I can’t imagine anyone turning such items as chaps or stirups into sexual indicators…

  16. But I’m sure that’s the “best” photo KM-W could find of a gay male couple.

    How about some girl on girl action? For fairness and balance, of course.

  17. My proposal for recognizing gay marriage: Don’t ask, don’t tell.

  18. If any accessory screams “please beat me, homophobes” it’s a pink cowboy hat with a jewelled tiara built into it.

    Believe it or not, some stuff is just so gay, gay people make fun of it.

  19. Does the President have to sign off on this, or is a Congressional vote all that is required?

  20. “I would like to see this question at BHO’s next townhall meeting:

    “How does your position on gay marriage differ from Miss California’s?””

    He’d simply say that he is unfamiliar with Prejean’s position and as such, is unable to comment

  21. Changing everything to civil unions would satisfy 80% of people and anger the extremists on each side.

    You want a marriage? Go to your church, hair salon, McDonald’s drive-thru, Canadian mall, and get one.

  22. Does the President have to sign off on this, or is a Congressional vote all that is required?

    Just Congress

    Article I sec 8

  23. But I’m sure that’s the “best” photo KM-W could find of a gay male couple.

    How about this?

  24. “He didn’t realize what he was voting on before.”

    Cocaine’s a helluva drug.

  25. “This better?”

    That you?

  26. “Look, Irish/Italian couples, or “McWops” as I like to call them, are smart enough not to take the most iconic heargear of the least tolerant stereotype of american lore and sissy it up.
    I mean, I can’t imagine anyone turning such items as chaps or stirups into sexual indicators…”

    I’m reminded of the line from a Henry Winkler film. The father says, “I gave him a football. He decorated it!”

  27. I hope the congress approves the law. We’ll see what happens.

  28. Any chance this would pass if it were put forward to DC voters as a referendum a la Prop H8? Doesn’t heavy demographic blackitude tend to correlate with gay marriage opposition?

  29. Fascitis Necrotizante,

    Could have something to do with the way D.C. Council member Marion Barry voted.

  30. But I’m sure that’s the “best” photo KM-W could find of a gay male couple.

    This better?

    Point of order, that wasn’t a couple.


    He’d simply say that he is unfamiliar with Prejean’s position and as such, is unable to comment

    I’d bet on some tripe about needing to “hear” people, how he understands there are differences, and at the end nobody will figure out what the hell he really said.

  31. I’d bet on some tripe about needing to “hear” people, how he understands there are differences, and at the end nobody will figure out what the hell he really said.

    But the MSM will swoon and say what a brilliant man he is.

  32. “Does the President have to sign off on this, or is a Congressional vote all that is required?
    Just Congress
    Article I sec 8”

    Actually, no, no congressional vote is required. The DC Home Rule Act requires the bill to go to Congress for review for 30 days, during which time Congress can enact, and the President can sign, a joint resolution disapproving the bill. If Congress doesn’t act within the 30 days, then it becomes a DC law.

    So, the Dems can easily duck this one by just not putting it up for a vote.

  33. So is “hat eating” new slang for something?

  34. “UPDATE: D.C. Council member Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) has now asked that the gay marriage bill be reconsidered. He didn’t realize what he was voting on before.”

    This is the greatest out from any politician that I have ever heard.

    “I meant to vote the other way.”

    You can totally pander to both sides at once. It’s brilliant. I want to see more politicians do this. Hell, I want to start seeing *ALL* of them do this.

  35. . . . I can’t imagine anyone turning such items as chaps or stirups into sexual indicators…

    Next thing you know it will be red shirts.

  36. How does your position on gay marriage differ from Miss California’s?

    Obama had to pay for his own implants.

  37. Jaybird, try reading the whole thing.

  38. Sorry I didn’t feel like writing it all out. Congress not acting acts as a vote and tacit approval.

  39. I’d bet on some tripe about needing to “hear” people, how he understands there are differences, and at the end nobody will figure out what the hell he really said.

    But the MSM will swoon and say what a brilliant man he is.

    Well, yes, there IS that….

  40. “Sorry I didn’t feel like writing it all out. Congress not acting acts as a vote and tacit approval.”

    Congress can vote all it wants, but if the President doesn’t sign, the DC law goes through (unless Congress overrides). In any case, this process is spelled out in the Home Rule Act, not the Constitution- the Constitution just gives Congress authority over the District, it doesn’t say how that will work.

  41. is this bill even a bill at all? now I’ve kissed a girl before, but this is just silly. DC is such a cesspool.

  42. Any chance this would pass if it were put forward to DC voters as a referendum a la Prop H8? Doesn’t heavy demographic blackitude tend to correlate with gay marriage opposition?

    I direct you to the ever excellent Nate Silver.

    Money quote:

    “It turns out that you can build a very effective model [predicting whether a state would support gay marriage] by including just three variables:

    1. The year in which the amendment was voted upon;
    2. The percentage of adults in 2008 Gallup tracking surveys who said that religion was an important part of their daily lives;
    3. The percentage of white evangelicals in the state.”

  43. “Now the proposal has to go to Congress.”

    I still think it’s wrong that DC has to run everything by Congress. Don’t get me wrong, most proposals to give them honest to goodness statehood or representation seem to run afoul of the Constitution, but surely there is a fucking way. One would think all of the people talking about local control would think this is pretty egregious.

  44. And MNG applies his bankruptcy logic to a new topic . . .

  45. Seriously, if Marion Barry didn’t exist, we’d have to invent him. And nobody would believe us.

  46. Given that structure (the DC ordnance goes into effect unless vetoed by Congress and the Prez), it presents a nice test of strength on this issue in Congress, only this time its the folks who oppose it who have to ante up.

    Please, God, I want to see this on Obama’s desk, to force him out of the weeds as an opponent of gay marriage.

  47. Why not just absorb DC into Maryland and be done with it? Those few pieces of the government that need a Constitutional figleaf to keep them out of a “state” can be declared Federal territories like the embassy dodge.

  48. I’ve written before about the semi-abusive relationship that gay Americans libertarians have with the Democratic Republican Party: Dems Reps treat gays libertarians badly (remember Rick Warren at the inauguration the George W. Bush administration?), but they keep coming back-not that Republicans Democrats are offering a viable alternative, God knows.

  49. Excellent, JP.

  50. I don’t remember DC laws requiring an executive signature either way. still not sure and too lazy to look it up.

  51. “I’ve written before about the semi-abusive relationship that gay Americans libertarians have with the Democratic Republican Party: Dems Reps treat gays libertarians badly (remember Rick Warren at the inauguration the George W. Bush administration?), but they keep coming back-not that Republicans Democrats are offering a viable alternative, God knows”

    Wait, is there a gay third party? I mean, besides the Greens.

  52. But I’ll eat my fanciful Derby Day hat if congressional Democrats come through and do right by this faithful constituency.

    Katherine – You should have bought a different hat. Just in case an unexpected bravery virus infects Capitol Hill.

  53. JP @ 3:33pm

    ????

  54. Wait, is there a gay third party? I mean, besides the Greens.

    Quick! Someone tell Starchild about the Green Party!

  55. If gay marriage is OK then why not Polygamy?

  56. Why not just absorb DC into Maryland and be done with it?

    Why the fuck would Maryland want DC? Big chunks of the city are is a pestilential craphole. It would be a huge financial burden.

  57. All of DC is a pestilential craphole. It is just different kinds of crap. Some of the turds have been polished, others are still rough.

  58. I like DC the way it is. What better way to show to everyone exactly what kind of city you get when the Federal government runs the show?

  59. Why the fuck would Maryland want DC? Big chunks of the city are is a pestilential craphole. It would be a huge financial burden.

    Who knows, happens all the time.

    There’s just something attractive about wealthy, successful cities wanting to annex gang-banger hell-holes with high teen pregnancy rates. What could go wrong?

  60. “God, I want to see this on Obama’s desk, to force him out of the weeds as an opponent of gay marriage.”

    I think there would be an easy way out of this for Obama, just approve the measure and say “while I personally continue to believe marriage is between a man and a woman, I respect the right of the states and territories to differ on this matter and reflect that difference through legislation passed by their own representatives. In fact, I look forward to a day when the District’s representatives no longer have to seek approval from our federal government for measures such as this. Thank you and God Bless the United States.”

  61. It doesn’t bother anyone else here that the thousands upon thousands of people that live in DC (or Guam for that matter) are forced to live by the rules passed by, and must pay taxes to, a government in which they are not represented?

    I thought the Declaration of Independence was a big deal around these parts. There was something in there about that kind of thing iirc…

  62. No, MNG, that doesn’t bother me. That’s them rules. D.C. was never meant to be a real city, it was meant to be the seat of gub’ment. Why any non-leech would want to permanently live in D.C. is beyond my comprehension.

  63. Who cares what it was meant to be. What it is is a place where more people than several states live, are taxed and ruled and they cannot vote for representation in the taxer and ruler. That’s bullshit.

    We should make it a state just so Mississippi won’t have to be dead last in most important social indicators all the time.

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