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Posted at 12:40 PM ET, 06/01/2009

Gray Stays Silent on Marriage Referendum

D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D) is steering clear - at least for now - of the debate over whether to put the same-sex marriage issue on the ballot.

Last week, Council member Yvette Alexander (D-Ward 7) said she favored holding a referendum to ask voters whether the Council bill to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states should be overturned. Council member Harry Thomas (D-Ward 5) also hinted in a recent interview with the City Paper's Mike Debonis that he could be persuaded to support an effort to hold a referendum.

(Alexander and Thomas voted for the Council bill, but both are taking some heat from African-American ministers).

When asked today about his views on a referendum, Gray said, "I really haven't thought much about this."

Gray said he plans to talk to other Council members to gauge their views on a referendum.

"I really want to talk to members to see how they feel," Gray said during his monthly press conference, which was attended by several Council members.

Council member Phil Mendelson (D-At Large), the sponsor of the bill to recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere, cringed when Gray did not rule out the possibility of a referendum.

Mendelson opposes a referendum, believing same-sex marriage is a civil rights issue that should not be left up to the will of the electorate.

--Tim Craig

By  |  12:40 PM ET, 06/01/2009

Categories:  Tim Craig

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