Where D.C. Officials stand on equal marriage rights

Where D.C. Officials stand on equal marriage rights

Compiled by the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance


Mayor Anthony Williams

Mayoral questionnaire, 1998
www.glaa.org/archive/1998/mq98williams.shtml

17. Do you support legal recognition of marriages between partners of the same sex?

Answer: "I believe that a civil marriage should not be the purview of the government to prohibit. If a bill on same sex marriage were to come to me as Mayor to sign, I would sign it."

Mayoral questionnaire, 2002
www.glaa.org/archive/2002/mqawilliams.shtml

10. Do you support legal recognition of marriages between partners of the same sex?

Answer: "I believe that a civil marriage should not be the purview of government to prohibit. If a bill on same sex marriage were to come to me as Mayor to sign, I would sign it. I believe that committed partnerships of same sex couples, should they decide to legalize them in a civil union, should have the same rights and responsibilities assigned as those of opposite sex couples."


Councilmember Linda Cropp

Council questionnaire, 1998
www.glaa.org/archive/1998/cq98cropp.shtml

11. Do you support legal recognition of marriages between partners of the same sex?

Answer: "Although I am not at the point where I would support the civil marriage of same-sex couples, I remain open to explore the issue further. During my tenure on the Council, I have consistently supported domestic partnership and other legislation and public policies that extended the rights and benefits of same sex couples and their families. I recognize the benefit to society of stable loving partnerships and will continue to seek ways to extend equal rights and benefits for same sex couples."

Council questionnaire, 2002
www.glaa.org/archive/2002/cqcropp.shtml

11. Will you support legal recognition of marriages between partners of the same sex?

Answer: "Although I am not at the point where I would support the legal recognition of marriage between partners of the same sex, I remain open to explore the issue further. During my tenure on the Council, I have consistently supported domestic partnership and other legislation and public policies that extended the same rights and benefits to same sex couples and their families as enjoyed by married couples. I recognize the benefit to society of stable loving partnerships and will continue to seek ways to extend equal rights and benefits for same sex couples. In addition, I oppose anti-gay marriage legislation and efforts that would prohibit the District from recognizing civil same sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions."


Councilmember Carol Schwartz

Council questionnaire, 1996
www.glaa.org/archive/1996/schwartz.shtml

1. Do you support legal recognition of marriages between persons of the same-sex?

Answer: "While I support same-sex relationships that are characterized by love and mutual support, I remain undecided on the issue of marriage. I will continue to defend DC's current Domestic Partnership Law which I voted for when I was on the Council, and will work to strengthen it, and make certain it survives a hostile Congress. Lesbian and gay couples have a right to the same governmental benefits and opportunities currently provided to heterosexual couples."

Mayoral questionnaire, 1998
www.glaa.org/archive/1998/mq98schwartz.shtml

17. Do you support legal recognition of marriages between partners of the same sex?

Answer: "I support same-sex relationships that are characterized by love and mutual support, and will continue to defend DC's current Domestic Partnership Law, and will work to strengthen it. If I am Mayor and the community decides it wishes to pursue this legislation, you can be assured that I will consider it with the same open mind that you know me to have."

Council questionnaire, 2000
www.glaa.org/archive/2000/cqschwartz.shtml

14. Will you support legal recognition of marriages between partners of the same sex?

Answer: "Stable relationships characterized by love and mutual support should be legally recognized. In the District, with the many unfair obstacles we must overcome as a result of Congress's veto power over our laws, I feel fairly certain that any attempt we make to legally recognize marriages between partners of the same sex would be swiftly shot down, and that the issue would be used -- gleefully and contemptuously -- by unsupportive members of Congress to bash the District and curry political favor at home. I worry that congressional interference in this area would create a hurdle that would significantly limit the District's ability to consider this issue in the future. My record of support for domestic partnership rights has been consistent and longstanding, and I think that the best strategy at this time would be to secure -- unimpeded by Congress -- legal recognition of domestic partnership rights for our citizens.

"Earlier this year, I wrote to every member of the House and Senate, urging them to oppose inclusion of language in the 2001 District of Columbia Appropriations Bill that would continue to prohibit the District from enforcing its domestic partnership law (see attachment #2). I pointed out to them that since the District enacted the Health Care Benefits Expansion Act in 1992, at least 35 U.S. cities, ten counties and five states, as well as at least 80 Fortune 500 companies and hundreds of smaller businesses, have devised and implemented some form of domestic partnership benefits. I will continue to promote stable relationships by advocating for meaningful domestic partnership laws with all inherent rights and responsibilities."

Mayoral questionnaire, 2002
www.glaa.org/archive/2002/mqschwartz.shtml

10. Do you support legal recognition of marriages between partners of the same sex?

Answer: "Stable relationships characterized by love and mutual support should be legally recognized. In the District, with the many unfair obstacles we must overcome as a result of Congress's veto power over our laws, I feel fairly certain that any attempt we make to legally recognize marriages between partners of the same sex would be swiftly shot down, and that the issue would be used - gleefully and contemptuously - by unsupportive members of Congress to bash the District and curry political favor at home. I worry that congressional interference in this area would create a hurdle that would significantly limit the District's ability to consider this issue in the future. In fact, during the recent negotiations over the District's budget, when once again I was lobbying on the Hill to keep our domestic partnership law intact, a Congressman asked me to try to get the Councilmembers to pledge that they would not vote to legalize marriages between partners of the same sex. I refused. I do not, in my heart, oppose legal recognition of same sex unions and would not stand in the way of my colleagues making their own decisions on this matter. I simply feel, at this time, the most politically astute approach here in the District would be to protect what we finally have and work on strengthening domestic partnership laws as a means of eventually achieving legal recognition of same-sex unions.

"My record of support for domestic partnership rights has been consistent and longstanding. For example, in 2000 I wrote to every member of the House and Senate, urging them to oppose inclusion of language in the 2001 District of Columbia Appropriations Bill that would continue to prohibit the District from enforcing its domestic partnership law. I pointed out to them that since the District enacted the Health Care Benefits Expansion Act in 1992, at least 35 U.S. cities, ten counties and five states, as well as at least 80 Fortune 500 companies and hundreds of smaller businesses, have devised and implemented some form of domestic partnership benefits. Now that the District can, at long last, enforce its domestic partnership statute, I will continue to promote stable relationships by advocating for meaningful partnership laws with all inherent rights and responsibilities."


Councilmember Harold Brazil

Council questionnaire, 1996
www.glaa.org/archive/1996/brazil.shtml

1. Do you support legal recognition of marriages between persons of the same-sex?

Answer: "If Hawaii passes legislation, I would support the District recognizing Hawaiian marriages. I would, however, be in close consultation with the community, in order to assess Congressional reaction."

Mayoral questionnaire, 1998
www.glaa.org/archive/1998/mq98brazil.shtml

17. Do you support legal recognition of marriages between partners of the same sex?

Answer: "I have felt unable to support same-sex marriages because of my religious beliefs, but I realize that the discussion surrounding domestic partnerships involves something distinct from the tenets of my church, and indeed, involves many rights that I support for every human being. I realize that I have a tendency to apply a lawyer's filter on this issue - I am a lawyer, after all - but I realize that our society must find a way to safeguard families - which include partnerships - and the autonomy of their decisions and arrangements, and the Domestic Partnership is one way of doing that. I supported registration of domestic partnerships and it is my view that Congress should respect the District's choice in this matter."

Council questionnaire, 2000
www.glaa.org/archive/2000/cqbrazil.shtml

14. Will you support legal recognition of marriages between partners of the same sex?

Answer: "I support civil unions. I am willing to engage in discussion regarding legal marriage for same sex couples."


Councilmember David Catania

Council questionnaire, 1998
www.glaa.org/archive/1998/cq98catania.shtml

11. Do you support legal recognition of marriages between partners of the same sex?

Answer: "Yes. The government should encourage the formation of stable families. If two individuals of the same sex choose to form a family, the government should permit a civil marriage to occur. However, I do not support requiring religious institutions to provide the actual service."

Council questionnaire, 2002
www.glaa.org/archive/2002/cqcatania.shtml

11. Will you support legal recognition of marriages between partners of the same sex?

Answer: "Yes. I share GLAA's concerns about the consequences of introducing legislation on this subject in the District.

"Notwithstanding my support for the legal recognition of marriages between partners of the same sex, certain religions oppose this position. I believe very strongly in the notion that no religious institution should be required to perform such a service in violation of its views."


Councilmember Phil Mendelson

Council questionnaire, 1996
www.glaa.org/archive/1996/mendelso.shtml

1. Do you support legal recognition of marriages between persons of the same-sex?

Answer: "Yes. Marriage is a civil contract between individuals. As such there is no reason it should be restricted to persons of the opposite sex. However, I do not know whether the Washington community would support local legislation, should it be proposed, and such legislation should not be enacted without a public hearing. While I support same-sex marriage, I would not push enactment at this time if there were widespread opposition and divisiveness."

Council questionnaire, 1998
www.glaa.org/archive/1998/cq98mendelson.shtml

11. Do you support legal recognition of marriages between partners of the same sex?

Answer: "Yes. Civil marriage has many very tangible economic and social benefits which help promote stability in our society and which would promote stable relationships within the Gay & Lesbian community. I will oppose Congressional interference in this matter."

Council questionnaire, 2002
www.glaa.org/archive/2002/cqmendelson.shtml

11. Will you support legal recognition of marriages between partners of the same sex?

Answer: "Yes. This has been my position since my first campaign. I will support legalization of same-sex marriages and do support GLAA's strategy of incremental steps that include protecting existing DC law that recognizes all marriages performed in other states."


Councilmember Jim Graham

Council questionnaire, 1998
www.glaa.org/archive/1998/cq98graham.shtml

11. Do you support legal recognition of marriages between partners of the same sex?

Answer: "Yes. Civil marriage between partners of the same sex is one of the last barriers in our civil rights movement. I have long held that two people should have the right to declare their lifelong commitment to each other. In addition to the important benefits of mutual love, support and companionship, civil marriage has many very tangible economic and social benefits which will help promote stability in our society. All good things which lesbian & gay couples should certainly share in as equal citizens of our nation."

Council questionnaire, 2002
www.glaa.org/archive/2002/cqgraham.shtml

11. Will you support legal recognition of marriages between partners of the same sex?

Answer: "Yes."


Councilmember Jack Evans

Council questionnaire, 1996
www.glaa.org/archive/1996/evans.shtml

1. Do you support legal recognition of marriages between persons of the same sex?

Answer: "Yes. I have always advocated for same-sex marriage as an important component in providing gay men and lesbians with equality of opportunity. For those couples who deem that marriage is right for them, they should receive the City's blessing, recognition, and advantages, regardless of the gender or sexual orientation of the parties constituting the couple.

"Currently there is a wall of homophobia which impedes our society. Certainly, legal recognition of same sex unions will be one of the most difficult parts of this wall to remove. Although I have championed legislation that benefits domestic partnerships, such as the Health Benefits Expansion Act and the Human Remains Act, these provide only limited benefits. However, as we continue to make progress in the area of equitable benefits for same sex partners, we will continue to make a transition toward this final stage of recognition of lesbians and gays.

"With this in mind, I feel we should create a Family Diversity Commission. I feel such an entity could expand upon the foundation which has been provided by the Health Benefits Expansion Act of 1992 and could be a vital force in trying to provide full benefits and rights for same sex partners."

Mayoral questionnaire, 1998
www.glaa.org/archive/1998/mq98evans.shtml

17. Do you support legal recognition of marriages between partners of the same sex?

Answer: "Yes. I support legislation providing legal basis for same-sex unions and I have no problems telling this to every organization which I address - from the Ward 2 Democrats to GLAA to the Baptist Ministers Conference. As I said during my 1996 re-election campaign for the Council, marriage is an important component in providing gay men and lesbians with equality of opportunity. For those couples who deem that marriage is right for them, they should receive the City's blessing, recognition, and advantages, regardless of the gender or sexual orientation of the parties constituting the couple. Or, more simply put, this is a civil rights and human rights issue which must be addressed.

"I would also like to comment on the position which the other major mayoral contenders have taken on this issue. Unfortunately, all of them have expressed their personal discomfort with the concept of same-sex marriage. One candidate has meekly proposed to sign legislation if it were to come to his desk. This is simply not good enough. Only a candidate with little knowledge of previous battles waged by the lesbian and gay community would suggest that it is sufficient for the mayor to merely agree to not veto a law if it reaches his desk. You must have an advocate for this issue. Just as I revived the decade-long struggle to overturn the District's antiquated sodomy laws and debated endlessly until we successfully passed the domestic partnership legislation, I will also be the advocate for this issue. If any candidate believes passing of same-sex legislation will merely require passive support, I urge them to talk with the membership of GLAA about some of the recent battles waged for gay and lesbian rights.

"And, in response to those candidates who are naive enough to ask why hasn't this legislation already been introduced, I would like to simply remind them that organizations such as GLAA have, and will continue to be, working hand-in-hand with me and other locally elected supporters of this effort to ensure a timely introduction and successful promotion of this legislation."

Council questionnaire, 2000
www.glaa.org/archive/2000/cqevans.shtml

14. Will you support legal recognition of marriages between partners of the same sex?

Answer: "Yes. As one of the first elected officials in DC to support gay marriages and one of the leaders in the passage of the District's Domestic Partners legislation, I well know the importance of this issue. As I said in my 1996 GLAA candidate questionnaire: 'I have always advocated for same-sex marriage as an important component in providing gay men and lesbians with equality of opportunity. For those couples who deem that marriage is right for them, they should receive the City's blessing, recognition, and advantages, regardless of the gender or sexual orientation of the parties constituting the couple.' I stand by these comments 100 percent."


Councilmember Kathy Patterson

Council questionnaire, 1998
www.glaa.org/archive/1998/cq98patterson.shtml

11. Do you support legal recognition of marriages between partners of the same sex?

Answer: "Yes, I support legal recognition of same sex marriages because I do not believe there is any legitimate basis for any civil authority to question a personal decision made by two consenting adults."

Council questionnaire, 2002
www.glaa.org/archive/2002/cqpatterson.shtml

11. Will you support legal recognition of marriages between partners of the same sex?

Answer: "Yes. I believe in equal rights for gay and lesbian partners, and I do not see any legitimate basis for any civil authority to question a personal decision made by two consenting adults."


Councilmember Adrian Fenty

Council questionnaire, 2000
www.glaa.org/archive/2000/cqfenty.shtml

14. Will you support legal recognition of marriages between partners of the same sex?

Answer: "Yes."


Councilmember Vincent Orange

Council questionnaire, 1998
*** DID NOT RESPOND TO GLAA QUESTIONNAIRE ***

Council questionnaire, 2002
*** DID NOT RESPOND TO GLAA QUESTIONNAIRE ***


Councilmember Sharon Ambrose

Council questionnaire, 1998
www.glaa.org/archive/1998/cq98ambrose.shtml

11. Do you support legal recognition of marriages between partners of the same sex?

Answer: "I support legalizing marriage for same-sex couples. Marriage is a public sign of commitment to the building of a stable relationship within larger civil and, in some cases, faith communities."

Council questionnaire, 2002
www.glaa.org/archive/2002/cqambrose.shtml

11. Will you support legal recognition of marriages between partners of the same sex?

Answer: "Yes. While I believe this is something which would be very difficult to achieve in the current political climate of this country, I am encouraged by the developments in Vermont, as well as the favorable developments in Quebec, and the recent court ruling in Ontario province. I believe marriage is a fundamental human right which should be extended to same-sex couples."


Councilmember Kevin Chavous

Mayoral questionnaire, 1998
www.glaa.org/archive/1998/mq98chavous.shtml

17. Do you support legal recognition of marriages between partners of the same sex?

Answer: "Same sex marriages are contrary to my religious beliefs and training. However, I voted for the District's Domestic Partnership Bill and feel strongly that many of our nontraditional relationships deserve and need access to insurance coverage and inheritance rights."

Council questionnaire, 2000
*** DID NOT RESPOND TO GLAA QUESTIONNAIRE ***


Councilmember Sandy Allen

Council questionnaire, 1996
www.glaa.org/archive/1996/allen.shtml

1. Do you support legal recognition of marriages between persons of the same sex?

Answer: "Yes! I support legal recognition of marriages between persons of the same sex. There is no rational reason to deny same sex couples their right to live in a legally recognized union."

Council questionnaire, 2000
www.glaa.org/archive/2000/cqallen.shtml

14. Will you support legal recognition of marriages between partners of the same sex?

Answer: "Yes, I was a supporter of the District's Domestic Partnership Legislation. I plan to continue to act along with other Councilmembers to push legislation that will recognize civil unions between partners. In addition, I have always agreed with legal recognition of marriages between partners of the same sex."


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