Marriage Options

The Center to hold public forum on marriage equality in DC

by Will O'Bryan
Published on November 29, 2007, 12:00am | Comments

In conjunction with The Center, ''Home for GLBT in Metro DC,'' DC for Marriage, a nascent local organization, will present a public forum to discuss marriage equality on Thursday, Dec. 6. It's the group's first event following the initial conversations that founded the group about eight months ago.

''Lane Hudson [and I] met at a community forum earlier this year,'' explains Michael Crawford, president of the new group, while Hudson serves as a board member. The forum was ''State of the Movement,'' a Feb. 20 event presented by the D.C. chapter of the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association. ''We both asked questions around marriage and that's how we connected. For the last few months, we've been talking to community leaders, asking if there is interest in a marriage campaign here in the District, getting advice on who else we should talk to.''

The aim of the Dec. 6 meeting is to help attendees understand the District's current domestic-partnership law, to discuss current legal options for legalizing same-sex marriage in D.C., and to poll the community regarding political strategies.

''The general consensus is gay people in the District are definitely interested in marriage. Now we want to take the question to a broad cross-section of the community,'' says Crawford, who moved to D.C. from Houston to help organize the 2000 Millennium March on Washington. In the years since, Crawford worked for a time as an associated field organizer for the Human Rights Campaign, which he says has helped him grasp the community's collective priorities. It's the insight that has made him passionate about marriage equality, he says, considering he's single -- unless Jake Gyllenhaal happens to come calling, he adds with a laugh.

''I'm doing this not so much because there is an immediate interest for me, but because of my work in the LGBT community. I've seen what people need. In a sense, it is a personal issue in that some day I hope to get married. But right now, it's about my love of the LGBT community and being treated equally.''

The marriage-equality forum is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in Room 412 of the District's Wilson Building at 1350 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.

For more information about DC for Marriage, visit the group online at www.dcformarriage.org.