''In D.C., outreach to African-Americans wasn't part of the campaign. It was the campaign.''
Michael Crawford of DC for Marriage explaining to AP the importance of reaching out to the African-American majority of Washington, DC during the hard-fought political struggle over same-sex marriage equality. Crawford, who is expanding his efforts to a national level, could be seen frequently at rallies and other events over the past year making speeches, doing important media interviews and signing up supporters. You can read more about Michael Crawford from Metro Weekly's interview last spring. (AP)
''It's just a celebration, I mean, it's an historic time. And especially as an African-American woman, I am particularly pleased. Because I know there is much to say around that in the African-American community. But I think it's time to come together. And I think this is one step in that direction.''
Candy Holmes, soon-to-be married partner of Darlene Garner, speaking with reporters outside of the DC Courthouse after obtaining one of the very first marriage licenses to include same-sex couples. (AP video)
''What's been different here is how aggressively they've come after religious leaders, how aggressively they have talked up the race issue, or I should say the civil rights issue.''
Harry Jackson, an African-American preacher from Maryland who has tried and failed to stake his claim in DC politics through anti-gay causes. Here he complains about his terrific political loss just before gay couples are allowed to obtain equal status with heterosexuals in the District of Columbia this week. (AP)
Again, we witness Jackson as he completely distorts the recorded truth about his own divisive, race-baiting declarations and of those involved in his religious organization called StandForMarriage. In April of 2009, Jackson and a group of anti-gay preachers held a hateful public rally in Downtown DC to declare that gay rights have nothing to do with civil rights, because civil rights, according to them, only apply to the struggle for black equality. He appeared on CNN soon after to say, "The black ministers are irate that they are being shut out." In November of 2009, Jackson presented a long lecture to the Council about the city's struggle to secure voting rights, but Jackson had to admit to Councilman Catania that he has never once voted in the DC because, well, he'd never actually lived in DC before. He and his group have repeatedly tried to bulldoze and circumvent Washington's publicly elected by lobbying the US Congress. They've asked legislators on the Hill to use Constitutional authority to stop the City Council and Mayor from enacting gay marriage. Most recently, they appealed to Supreme Court Justice John Roberts, who quickly rejected a request by Jackson's group. They had requested Roberts place an emergency hold on the adoption of gay marriage so that they could force through a referendum. Thankfully, though, marriage was indeed approved by the Council in December of 2009. Mayor Fenty signed that bill a few days later. And finally, after a mandatory review process by Congress, yesterday became the first day that gender-neutral marriage applications were distributed. It is expected that the first ceremonies will occur next Tuesday, March 9, 2010.
''Slavery was wrong, from the moment that they brought my ancestors on these shores. So, regardless of what the law said, it didn't change it whether right or wrong. And the same thing as far as this issue, the law is not making this right. So, essentialy the government is legislating morality.... Really, this is a political issue. So, really the debate should not be in the pulpit as far as the Bible is concerned, because there are different interpretations.... Many in the African-American community just don't believe this is a civil rights issue.... Because you can choose in terms of whether you want to be married or not. You can choose whether you want to be married to one or more person. But I have no choice in the color of my skin.... That is also for debate in terms of sexual orientation. That's a whole different debate. But the reality is, if I go try to catch a cab from this building tonight, cab driver is not gonna know whether I'm gay or straight when they pass me by. He's probably going to judge me by my appearance ... I can't do anything to take off this black face.''
Patrick Jonathan Walker, a preacher from New Macedonian Baptist Church in SE DC, who is opposed to the newly enacted law that allows gay men and lesbians to legally wed. Though the excellent host of RT tries many times to get him to make sense, Walker contradicts his own talking points several times. He actually complains that the government is "legislating morality" by treating same-sex couples equally. Beyond his ridiculous juxtapositions of race and sexual orientation, cab drivers and marriage, gay marriage and polygamy, he makes several more nonsense arguments about the publicly elected DC City Council not listening to the public. This despite public hearings and private meetings held between the Council and the citizens of the Wards they represent. He also neglects to mention that the vote was not unanimous -- it was split 11 to 2. He tries to dodge his own bias by saying it is not a religious matter, but virtually all of the opposition has come from preachers like himself, or other religiously based political organizations. (RT)