By a vote of 4-1, with D.C. Council member Yvette Alexander (D-Ward 7) dissenting, the Public Safety and Judiciary Committee sent D.C. Council member David Catania’s (I-At-Large) bill, “The Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Amendment Act of 2009”, for a first reading vote, which is scheduled to take place on Tues., Dec. 1. The bill was amended to include giving the right of a church to deny its facilities for same sex marriages activities without any penalties from the city’s human rights laws.
There are 10 original co-sponsors of Catania’s bill, including D.C. Council Chair Vincent Gray (D). Council member Harry Thomas (D-Ward 5) did not co-sponsor the bill but has indicated that he will vote for passage. Alexander’s chief of staff, J.R. Meyers said that constituent concerns dictated his boss’s decision to oppose Catania’s bill.
“The councilwoman will follow the wishes of her constituents of Ward 7 and will not vote for this legislation,” Meyers said. “She will not lead any opposition to it. She just will not vote for it.”
Natalie Williams, the spokesperson for Council member Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) said that her boss opposes the bill. More HERE