Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Wedding March (or shall I say Slog?)

Yesterday our City Council introduced legislation to allow for same-sex marriage in the District of Columbia. This will have to pass a 30 day review by Congress (since we have home rule here) so we won’t know if it will become law until December. But we remain hopeful.

The council member in our ward of the city was not a co-sponsor of the legislation. So 10 of the 13 council members, and the mayor, support the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Amendment Act of 2009, yet our council member does not.

I had actually written him an e-mail last month appealing for his support. You see, the thing is, he knows me and my family because of my involvement with community issues and I honestly think he harbors us no ill will. But I think he is very concerned with how his vote would be accepted (or not accepted to be more precise) by many of his constituents.

Here is a little bit of what I wrote him:

“You know, I really wish that this kind of politics didn’t have to play out state by state (or district as in our case), but it is what it is. When I think of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, I have to wonder what it would have been like if each state had been able to pick and choose how it felt about civil rights. (Very ugly I imagine.)

That landmark piece of legislation in 1964 outlawed racial segregation in schools, public places, and employment. It’s hard now to imagine that we even needed legislation to right such a terrible wrong, but we did.

I guess my point is, I believe that politics is a special calling where an elected official, yes of course, listens to the will of his or her people, but is also powerfully challenged to do the right thing. You can bet there were lots of people who were outraged that they’d have to integrate with those they considered inferior, and guess what? They were as wrong as wrong can be. The politicians got it right in my opinion for the good of all.”

He did respond to my e-mail in part by saying

“I have been steadfast in my position on marriage equity and invite you to review my record on the issue and encourage those who have a position on marriage equity to speak up on the issue.”

I got to thinking about his use of the word “equity”. It is not the same as “equality”. It strikes me a bit more like “separate buy equal” which is how many people view domestic partnerships and civil unions compared to marriage. I’d love to see him become a true supporter of marriage equality for all as he continues to lead our ward.

Anyway, I guess I’m glad that I got my two cents in and I guess now I should consider writing to the Archbishop of the Catholic Church here in our area. Here is his latest contribution to the debate:

“Marriage is a path toward holiness,” he wrote in a letter to about 300 Roman Catholic priests. “As members of the church, we are obliged to be all the more attentive to the challenges that weaken marriage.”

Sigh. I wish I knew how we gay people being married weakened straight marriages. Seriously. I never thought we were all that powerful. Oh, and I think that there are many paths toward holiness, and being honest and accepting is one of the best ways I know. -Monica

1 comment:

Jenni said...

I've always just though they were hiding their bigotry behind religion, which is so sad, I think.

Great news about the legislation, though. Fantastic news.