Gay Activists, Black Ministers Seek Common Ground in DC
Posted on June 1, 2009
Filed Under Uncategorized
WASHINGTON — When the District of Columbia city council voted 12-1 recently to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions, a raucous protest led by African-American ministers erupted in the hallway outside council chambers.
Security officers quelled the pandemonium, but not before video and cell phone cameras captured images of the confrontation — with councilman Marion Barry, who cast the lone dissenting vote, predicting “civil war” over the issue in the D.C. black community.
Watching the commotion was the Rev. Robert Hardies, who happened to be in City Hall on another matter when the ministers stormed the corridor.
“I was heartbroken,” says Hardies, a gay man who is senior minister at the city’s historic All Souls Church, Unitarian.
“I had vowed to myself that after what happened in California, when the gay marriage issue came to Washington, D.C., we would do it differently and prevent the racial divide,” he said.
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