Why have I not seen this headline? Here’s the official news from the Washington Post

An overwhelming majority on the D.C. Council voted today to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, sending the District deeper into the national debate and galvanizing supporters on both sides of the issue.

The measure, approved by a vote of 12 to 1, now goes to Mayor Arian M. Fenty (D), a supporter of gay marriage.

If Fenty signs it, the District will put the same-sex marriage issue directly before the Congress. Under Home Rule, the District’s laws are subject to a 30-day congressional review period.

After the vote, a large crowd of opponents, led by local ministers, began yelling, “Get them off the council!” referring to the members who supported the measure. The crowd caused such a ruckus that security guards and D.C. police officers had to be called in to restore order

I like that WaPo is using the term “ruckus,” but let’s look deeper into this one-vote opposition. From DC’s Metro Weekly earlier today:

”All hell is going to break lose. We may have a civil war. The black community is just adamant against this…. What you’ve got to understand is 98 percent of my constituents are black and we don’t have but a handful of openly gay residents.”

- DC Councilman Marion Barry for Ward 8 speaking to reporters after the council voted 12-1 to legally recognize gay and lesbian marriages performed in other states that do allow same-sex marriages. Last week, Barry appeared with a number of preachers to speak out against gay marriage, though he said he supports civil unions and, in fact, is recorded as a co-introducer of the bill that he is suddenly so adamantly against.

Listen, I understand some folks are opposed to recognition of equal rights, but I think when one of those folks is the only member of an elected body to vote against this measure and there is video evidence and prosecutorial history of that person smoking crack, well, I think we should laugh said person off the stage and resume our Cinco de Mayo festivities.

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