Barry Warns of “Civil War” Over Gay Marriage in DC
Posted on May 6, 2009
Filed Under Uncategorized
D.C. Council member Marion Barry (D-Ward 8), the only council member to vote against the bill today to legalize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere, predicted today there could be a “civil war” in the District if the Council decides to take up a broader gay marriage bill later this year.
“All hell is going to break lose,” Barry said while speaking to reporters. “We may have a civil war. The black community is just adamant against this.”
Barry made his remarks a few hours after a group of same-sex marriage opponents, led by black ministers, caused uproar in the Wilson Building after the Council voted 12 to 1 to recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere. They caused such a ruckus that security guards and police had to clear the hallway. The protesters shouted that council members who voted for the bill will face retribution at the polls.
Although he has been a longtime supporter of gay rights, Barry said he voted against the bill to satisfy his constituents in Southeast Washington.
“What you’ve got to understand is 98 percent of my constituents are black and we don’t have but a handful of openly gay residents,” Barry said. “Secondly, at least 70 percent of those who express themselves to me about this are opposed to anything dealing with this issue. The ministers think it is a sin, and I have to be sensitive to that.”
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