Monday, October 26, 2009

DC Anti-Marriage Protest is a Dud

The other day we noted that the Citizens for Responsible Whatever were getting involved in preventing marriage equality in the District of Columbia, and that there was a big protest scheduled for yesterday at Freedom Plaza.

Here's what The Post reported:
A small but noisy group of protesters, many bused in from churches, rallied Sunday in downtown Washington to demand that the D.C. Council reject a measure that would allow same-sex marriages in the District.

"No one has the right to pass laws without checking with the taxpaying citizens of the District of Columbia," said Howard Butler of Holy Temple Church of God in Southeast Washington. He was among about 150 opponents of same-sex marriage in Freedom Plaza, across from the John A. Wilson Building, which houses the mayor's and council members' offices.

After months of strategizing, the debate over whether the District should legalize same-sex marriage is entering its final stages as a council committee takes up the issue Monday. Hundreds have signed up to testify, setting the stage for one of the largest council hearings ever, officials said. Another hearing Monday is scheduled before the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics, which must decide whether to allow a ballot initiative on whether marriage in the District should be restricted to unions involving one man and one woman.

Sunday's protesters chanted, "Let the people vote!" but many participants live in the Maryland and Virginia suburbs. "What happens in D.C. will ultimately affect the states around it," said Dana Sanders, a Columbia resident. Both sides mobilize on same-sex marriage

Okay, a hundred fifty people.

Washington DC itself has a little over half a million people. The DC metropolitan area has more than five million people. We know that outside groups such as our own county's nutty CRW were going into the city for this event ... total one hundred fifty.
To get an initiative on the ballot, its supporters must convince the elections board that their proposal would not discriminate against gay men and lesbians. Most legal observers expect the board will deny the request. This summer, the board rejected a referendum proposal to block the city from recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states.

The D.C. Council is widely expected to approve a same-sex marriage bill before Christmas. On Monday evening, the Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary will begin hearing testimony from 269 people who have signed up to speak.

"The folks who argue for an initiative say they want to have a public debate, and that is what this hearing is," said council member Phil Mendelson (D-At Large), chairman of the committee.

Testimony on the matter of marriage equality in DC begins today. You can expect some grandstanding, probably some vivid sound-bites. Those preachers do know how to speak, how to get your attention, they know how to make their voices thunder.

But at the end of the day, this protest proves nobody really objects if gay and lesbian residents of the city are allowed to marry the person they love.


Blogger David S. Fishback said...

"No one has the right to pass laws without checking with the taxpaying citizens of the District of Columbia."

Actually, that is precisely what a "republican form of government," mandated in the US Constitution, allows. We elect legislators who we entrust with the power to pass laws. If we don't like the laws, we can vote them out at the next election.

I noticed a sign in a picture in the Post that said "Let the people vote." Can you imagine the reaction of the people carrying that sign if it were being carried by demonstrators outside Little Rock's Central High School in 1958 in a state where, if the issue had been put to referendum, likely would have kept Central High segregated?

October 26, 2009 2:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If we don't like the laws, we can vote them out at the next election."

Actually, there's a referendum process in D.C. that is part of the process too.

It's currently being subverted and, in a city that long sought and fought for full voting rights, expect the citizens of D.C. to throw the bums out at the next election.

October 26, 2009 3:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Anonymous" - You have to gain a majority of the votes to "throw the bums out". Don't hold your breath waiting for that to happen!

October 26, 2009 3:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

don't be too shocked when it happens

voting rights is a touchy subject in D.C.

October 26, 2009 4:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No doubt you are making plans right now to spend a great deal of time in D.C. (you are a resident of Montgomery County, aren't you?) in getting out the vote. Gonna be kinda hard on your schedule, though...with your probable efforts to "throw the bums out" right here in Montgomery County.
Maybe the other 9 (?) remaining members of CRG will be able to assist you though.

October 26, 2009 4:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

not necessary

the residents of D.C. will take of it care of themselves

frankly, the population is a little sick of the pushy gays that have moved to the city

October 26, 2009 5:44 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

During the 2008 elections in DC, more than 250,000 votes were cast. Anon and the 150 protesters, many of whom "live in the Maryland and Virginia suburbs" are deluding themselves if they think they're going to win any votes in DC.

This is another idle threat just like when the CRW started out as RECALLMONTGOMERYSCHOOLBOARD.COM.

How many Montgomery School Board members did they recall?

Zip, zero, nada!

October 26, 2009 5:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Zip, zero, nada!"

well at least in the search for adequate adjectives to describe her intelligence level, anon-B is getting creative

October 26, 2009 5:53 PM  
Anonymous deluxe said...

TTFers have often expressed their delusion here that liberalism is resurgent in America

frankly, they couldn't be more wrong

a couple of months ago, Gallup released a poll showing that a majority of citizens, in each and every of the fifty states, consider themselves to be conservatives

pity poor Creigh Deeds who thought exposing Bob McDonnell as a long-time social conservative would sink McDonnell's chances but instead improved them

in an update yesterday, it turns out there are twice as many conservatives as liberals:

"Gallup poll released Monday shows the public's conservatism at a high-water mark. Some 40 percent of Americans call themselves conservative, compared with 36 percent who self-describe as moderates and 20 percent as liberals.

The conservative number is as high as it's been in the two decades that Gallup has been asking the question.

The implications of this for the Republican Party over the remaining three years of the Obama presidency are clear: there will be a conservative Republican presidential nominee in 2012.

That nominee seems unlikely to be a current officeholder. Right now, the four leading candidates for the GOP nomination are private citizens. In a recent Rasmussen poll, the only candidates with double-digit support among Republicans were Mike Huckabee (at 29 percent), Mitt Romney (24 percent), Sarah Palin (18 percent) and Newt Gingrich (14 percent). These four are running way ahead of various senatorial and are, to one degree or another, outsiders.

The center of gravity, I suspect, will lie with individuals such as Palin and Huckabee and Gingrich, media personalities like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, and activists at town halls and tea parties. Some will lament this -- but over the past year, as those voices have dominated, conservatism has done pretty well in the body politic, and Republicans have narrowed the gap with Democrats in test ballots.

And next week, in real balloting, conservative Republicans are likely to win in Virginia, a state Obama carried.

The lesson activists around the country will take from this is that a vigorous, even if somewhat irritated, conservative/populist message seems to be more effective in revitalizing the Republican Party than an attempt to accommodate the wishes of liberal media elites."

October 27, 2009 9:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

backlash against anti-democratic gay forces:

"Opponents of same-sex marriage are preparing to turn to the courts if the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics denies their request for a ballot initiative next year on whether marriage should be limited to one man and one woman.

On a day in which hundreds of residents spoke out on the issue, same-sex marriage opponents said they are preparing a multi-prong legal strategy to tie up the issue in the courts for months.

In addition to fighting for a public vote on same-sex marriage in the District, the opponents say they will argue in court that the federal Defense of Marriage Act banning gay marriage applies to the city. Several national conservative organizations plan to support the effort, guaranteeing that local opponents have the money and publicity to wage a vigorous battle.

"This is the whole ballgame right here," said Brian Brown, executive director of the National Organization for Marriage, which has been at the center of the battle over same-sex marriage in California and other states. "We will go to the higher courts. . . . The other side better be careful what they wish for."

Residents opposed to the bill, which the council will likely pass by Christmas, offered equally emotional testimony. At times, they began shouting at council members.

"I am just outraged at this hearing. I think it's a joke," Kathryn Pearson-West of Northeast said. "This is a mockery for democracy."

Earlier, the elections board heard nearly five hours of testimony on the request by Stand4MarriageDC to put an initiative on the ballot next year stating that "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid and recognized in the District of Columbia."

"We have a city council who has made it clear their goal is to put this issue before themselves, not the community, not the taxpayers, not the citizens," said Carolyn Steptoe, an advisory neighborhood commissioner in Ward 5. "They want to put it before themselves even as they complain their voting rights [in Congress] are being denied."

Gay rights activists countered that the elections board has little choice but to reject the request.

"You are required to uphold the law," Mark Levine, an attorney who was representing the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club, told board members. "Even if you believe God should strike down gay people, you have an obligation to follow the law."

Attorneys for several local and national same-sex marriage opponents are laying the groundwork for a legal challenge if the board blocks their request for an initiative.

Cleta Mitchell, an attorney for Stand4MarriageDC, told the board that the city is still governed by a 1995 appellate court decision saying the District need not recognize same-sex marriage.

In Dean v. the District of Columbia, the D.C. Court of Appeals ruled that the Human Rights Act did not apply because family law covers a husband and a wife.

"Until the appellate court specifically overturns Dean, that is still the law," Mitchell said. "The Human Rights Act does not void the marriage statute, and that is what this board would be saying if they deny us our petition rights."

Vincent P. McCarthy, senior counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, said he is prepared to argue in court that the District must abide by the Defense of Marriage Act, which Congress approved in 1996.

"The federal government has jurisdiction over the District of Columbia, so DOMA covers the District of Columbia," McCarthy said."

October 27, 2009 9:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Anonymous" - Would you please cite the source of your contention that "frankly, the population is a little sick of the pushy gays that have moved to the city"?

Are you, "Anonymous", a resident of D.C.? Have you personally conducted a survey of the entire population of the city to ascertain the feelings of the residents of the city?

Projecting your own negative feelings about GLBT persons is NOT proof that others feel the same way that you do.

Oh, and btw, thanks for quoting the entire article from today's Washington Post, to whom you so graciously attributed your entire entry. With your "service" I can now save a little money on my Post subscription, which I will donate to the cause of "equality for all American citizens under the Constitution".


October 27, 2009 9:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Have you personally conducted a survey of the entire population of the city to ascertain the feelings of the residents of the city?"

Yes, I did.

It took some doing but I personally spoke to every straight resident of D.C. and, to a man, they said they are sick of the pushy gays that have moved in.

October 27, 2009 9:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I can now save a little money on my Post subscription, which I will donate to the cause of "equality for all American citizens under a ludicrous mis-interpretation of the Constitution"."

buiying the pro-gay Post would be, in effect, the same thing

October 27, 2009 9:54 AM  
Anonymous naturally said...

"Vice President Joe Biden's favorable rating has fallen to 42 percent in a new Gallup poll, down from a high of 59 percent just after last year's election.

Biden's unfavorable rating in the new poll is 40 percent, up from 29 percent last November.

Biden's average favorable rating during his time in office so far is 45 percent -- well below the average 65 percent favorable rating for Vice President Dick Cheney during Cheney's first year in office.

Vice President Al Gore's favorable rating during his first year, 55 percent, was also higher than Biden's."

October 27, 2009 11:28 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Oh no Diogenes, Anon skipped quite a bit of that Kristol editorial as well as Sunday's article where the tort reform supporters discuss their plans for courtroom battles ahead.

IMHO Anon skipped the best lines in Kristol's piece about those in the middle: "..What's more, fully 72 percent of Republicans say they're conservative. [ONLY] Thirty-five percent of independents do so as well..."

The Gallup Poll Kristol was referring to has some revealing bar graphs showing that independents and Democrats are very similar in their conservative/moderate/liberal make-up but far different from Republicans who are heavily skewed with their over 70% conservative make-up. But even the GOP seems to be evolving.

Last night I got a phone call from a student raising funds from alumni for my midwestern Alma Mater, a dedicated young man and GOP member. He asked me about my interests and activities and we talked about politics. When I told him I hoped marriage equality would be the next advancement in civil rights legislation, he surprised me and said he hoped so too, adding his strong convictions that denying LGBT people marriage equality is unfair and unAmerican and that all Americans should be free to marry who they love.

October 27, 2009 1:43 PM  
Anonymous deluxe said...

"IMHO Anon skipped the best lines in Kristol's piece about those in the middle: "..What's more, fully 72 percent of Republicans say they're conservative. [ONLY] Thirty-five percent of independents do so as well...""

YHO is delusional, anon-B.

We elect our President and Congress by counting total votes not seperating them by party.

When 40% of Americans are conservative and 20% are liberal, the Democratic party needs to become moderate to succeed.

Obama isn't moderate.

Sorry, Charlie!

October 27, 2009 2:11 PM  
Anonymous deluxe said...

here's one of those moderates that will eventually form the party that replaces the Democratic Party

he was once the Democratic nominee for VP, before the party embraced socialism:

"WASHINGTON -- Sen. Joe Lieberman said Tuesday that he would vote to block passage of Senate health-care language in its current form, dealing a setback to Senate Democratic leaders' efforts to gather 60 votes for the bill.

Mr. Lieberman, who caucuses with the Democrats, told reporters Tuesday that, unless the bill changes substantially, he would vote with Senate Republicans against a motion to allow a vote on final passage of the bill.

His opposition to the bill centers around its inclusion of a government-run health-insurance plan. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced Monday that he intended to include a public plan in Senate health-care legislation.

"I think that a lot of people may think that the public option is free. It's not," Mr. Lieberman said. "It's going to cost the taxpayers and people that have health insurance now, and if it doesn't, it's going to add terribly to our national debt.""

October 27, 2009 5:43 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

"I don't have anyone that I have worked harder with, have more respect for in the Senate than Joe Lieberman. As you know, he's my friend. There are a lot of senators, Democrat and Republicans, who don't like part of what's in this bill that we sent over to CBO. We're going to see what the final product is. We're not there yet. Sen. Lieberman will let us get on with the bill, and he'll be involved in the amendment process," [Senate Majority leader] Reid said.

"Some of you will recall one reason that we were able to solve the problem with the nuclear option -- I write about it in my book -- is I called Joe Lieberman to my office and said, 'Joe, I want you to join -- I want you to join the enemy and get us out of this deal.' And he did. I have the greatest confidence in Joe Lieberman's ability as a legislator. And he will work with us when this gets on the floor, and I'm sure he'll have some interesting things to do in the way of an amendment. But Joe Lieberman is the least of Harry Reid's problems."

October 28, 2009 8:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"But Joe Lieberman is the least of Harry Reid's problems"

This is actually true.

The chances that Reid will return to the Senate after his term are slim and none.

October 29, 2009 9:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The chances that "Anonymous" will ever stop making asinine, stupid, or inappropriate remarks is slim to none.

October 29, 2009 10:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my comments are mainstream, friend

if you don't like them, you're in for a lot of disappointment

the despicable day of anti-family forces is nearing nightfall


October 29, 2009 12:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said... represent the voice of "Family Values"? Talk about this country being in trouble
Take a look if you will at studies that show that American families are in trouble never experienced before. And guess what? It's all their own doing.

October 29, 2009 5:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so you're anti-family then?

October 29, 2009 5:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yuk, yuk...brilliant comeback, Anonymous!

October 30, 2009 10:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home