Michael Crawford

Marriage in the Nation's Capital?

Filed By Michael Crawford | December 16, 2007 8:20 AM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: gay marriage, gay relationships, marriage equality, Washington, Washington DC

Here is a great article on a new campaign to win marriage rights in Washington, D.C. The residents of D.C. are in a unique position in that the city's mayor and an overwhelming majority of council members support marriage equality, but the federal government has the authority to "review" all legislation passed by the city council. This means that even if the D.C. passed a marriage bill the big fight would be with members of Congress who will attempt to nullify the council's decision. As icing on the cake, we also do not have voting representation in Congress.

The "Michael Crawford" that is quoted in the excerpt below is indeed me. The "David Mariner" mentioned is a new contributor to Bilerico.

Michael Crawford, president of D.C. For Marriage, and David Mariner, another one of its founding members, said the specter of congressional intervention should not stop D.C. gays from taking steps to advance marriage rights while continuing to expand the domestic partners law. The two suggested exploring a range of proposals, including possible city recognition of same-sex marriages performed in Massachusetts or in countries like Canada that have legalized same-sex unions.

“We want to make sure that whatever we do reflects the interests and the needs of the community rather than something a handful of people are deciding,” Crawford said after the forum. “All options are on the table right now, and we’re trying to figure out the best way for us to move forward.”

Crawford and other participants said they were hopeful that the election of a Democratic president and more gay-supportive members of Congress in 2008 would make it possible for the city to pass a same-sex marriage bill in 2009.

Among the more than 40 people who turned out for the forum, held at the John A. Wilson municipal building, nearly everyone who spoke expressed support for a more cautious approach aimed at avoiding congressional intervention.

Read the full article here.

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This could be another test of support for the LGBT community in the Democratic Congress. Will they continue the Republican tactic of undermining the will of D.C. residents by attempting to thwart marriage rights, or will they dare to take an actual stand and allow D.C. residents the opportunity to have a say in their own destiny?

Unfortunately, I fear it is the former, and not the latter.

Congratulations to Michael and David as they work for change in the nation's capital. Good luck guys!

Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | December 16, 2007 11:38 AM

The first domestic partnership law that was passed in D.C. was held up by Congress for ten years so we don't think that this is going to be a quick or easy battle.

It is crucial not just for D.C., but for LGBT civil rights nationally that in 2008 we elect not just a Democratic majority, but one that is pro-gay.

Seriously, all the "states rights" bs on marriage hits the fan here, since DC should presumably, under that theory, have the right to decide marriage for itself, but instead people who aren't from there are saying no.

Then again, we always knew that the "states rights" position on marriage was just a front for homophobia, right?


Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | December 18, 2007 12:27 AM

Yeah, "state's rights" has been used to justify a range of discrimination. But, they will say that D.C. is not a state. But, they won't grant us statehood or voting representation in Congress.

Its hard to believe that with all the political blather about democracy we deny voting representation to the nearly 600,000 residents of the District. Isn't that taxation without representation and wasn't that part of what sparked the American Revolution?