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Gay Marriage Fuels Debate Among D.C. Democrats

By Nikita Stewart
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, May 21, 2009

The same-sex marriage debate continued to make its way across the city, landing in Ward 8 on Saturday when the Democratic committee there voted 21 to 11 to support a same-sex marriage resolution drafted by activists.

By Monday, a group of local ministers opposed to the legalization of same-sex nuptials in the District rallied to win a straw poll in Ward 5 among Democrats. The question was not about whether to support "marriage equality," but whether to support the D.C. Council's approval of legislation to recognize same-sex marriages from elsewhere. That law is set to go into effect next month.

The Ward 5 vote was 87 against and 51 in favor.

The committee also asked its members to vote on whether to support a referendum on same-sex marriages. The results: 78 against and 47 in favor.

Ward 6 Democrats were expected to take up the debate Tuesday night, too late for this edition of the Extra.

Democratic committees in wards 3 and 4 had approved resolutions supporting the legalization of same-sex marriage. Council member David A. Catania (I-At Large) is expected to propose a bill this year.

Fenty's Losses

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D), known lately for firing employees, is losing two top staffers to resignations. Not only is City Administrator Dan Tangherlini leaving to accept a nomination to the U.S. Treasury, but fiscal whiz kid Will Singer is departing for law school in the fall.

Singer, a graduate of Fenty's alma mater, Oberlin College, will attend law school at Northwestern University. As chief of budget execution, Singer had to figure out how to deal with an $800 million deficit this year.

Peace in the Windy City

Peaceoholics, the group of ex-convicts who help turn around the lives of D.C. youths, is taking its efforts to Chicago.

Ron Moten and Jauhar Abraham, co-founders of the nonprofit group, were scheduled to speak tonight at the Park at Fourteenth restaurant and lounge in Northwest for a fundraiser on behalf of the 7th Ward Stop the Violence campaign.

No, not the community represented by D.C. Council member Yvette M. Alexander (D-Ward 7). We're talking about the 7th Ward of Chicago, represented by Alderman Sandi Jackson, wife of Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.).

The congressman is also speaking. And Anwan "Big G" Glover of HBO's "The Wire," who is a member of Peaceoholics, is hosting.

Moten and Abraham, Chicago sources said, are going to start a chapter in the city to help curb violence. This school year, 36 children and teenagers have been killed in the city.

D.C. Notebook hears that Peaceoholics won't be involved in donating any Chicago property to Caribbean island towns.

The D.C. inspector general is investigating the donation of a firetruck and ambulance to a town in the Dominican Republic. The city gave the equipment to Peaceoholics, which gave it to the town of Sosua. A deputy fire chief apparently took a trip to the town to scope out its need for the equipment.

The equipment was returned after Peaceoholics and the administration of Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) took heat for what critics called a clandestine contribution. The truck and ambulance had made it as far as Florida before being returned to the District.

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