Before everyone gets tired of “playing the race card” game with Jimmy Carter, it might be worth noting that even though over fifty-four percent of the population of Washington, D.C. is African American, the white minority is not all that anxious to let the black folks vote on a referendum on one particular issue. Guess which issue?

A coalition of gay marriage opponents asked the D.C. elections board Tuesday to authorize a ballot initiative that if approved by a majority of voters would define marriage in the District as the union of a man and a woman.

Stand4MarriageDC, led by Bishop Harry Jackson of Beltsville’s Hope Christian Church, filed papers with the Board of Elections and Ethics seeking authority to collect petition signatures for a November 2010 referendum on the definition of marriage. The filing, backed by the Archdiocese of Washington, comes ahead of an anticipated D.C. Council effort to legalize same-sex marriage in the District.


Over at the Stand4MarriageDC website, we hear further from Bishop Jackson:
“The D.C. City Council has stated that their intention is to redefine marriage by going beyond recognizing homosexual marriage performed outside the District to advocating for them to be performed in the District,” said Bp. Jackson. “This redefinition of marriage will permanently impact D.C. businesses, schools, social activities, and the family unit without the voice of the residents being heard. The initiative filed today would allow the people of the District to decide this important issue, not a 13-person panel.”

And from the Rev. Dale Wafer:
“The City Council has had no consultation with community leaders, no public debate and no consideration of the views of the majority of D.C. residents,” says Pastor Wafer. “Their actions have not only been disrespectful to citizens of the District, but outright undemocratic. This issue is too big to be decided in such an exclusive, haphazard and thoughtless way.”

Bishop Harry Jackson and Pastor Dale Wafer, it is worth noting, are African Americans.

Of course, such a ballot measure is radically opposed by the gay lobby. Why? “’Philosophically many people are opposed to having a ballot initiative that subjects a particular group’s rights to an up or down majority vote,’ said Rick Rosendall, vice president of political affairs for the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance.”

It would be a waste of breath to point out to Rick Rosendall and his allies the fallacy of  petitio principii . Behind all the bluster we all know the real reason the white folks tend to think the black folks in Washington, DC shouldn’t get a vote on this particular issue. The simple fact is that a far greater percentage of African Americans still hold to crazy ideas like, say, the idea that marriage is between a man and a woman (despite and perhaps because of the fallout from the tragic breakdown of the institution of marriage in the black community), oppose the legalization of gay marriage, and deeply resent the common assertion from the gay lobby that opposition to “gay marriage” is morally equivalent to racism.

Not that this has anything to do with racism, mind you. Although, I would love to hear President Obama’s answer to a well-timed question as to whether or not he agrees with Bishop Jackson that “The people of the District of Columbia should decide the issue of the definition of marriage, not 13 members of the D.C. Council,” or with Rev. Wafer’s claim that the actions of the city council “have not only been disrespectful to citizens of the District, but outright undemocratic.” Let’s hear the great “community organizer” parse that one! Jimmy Carter might take a stab at it as well.

Articles by Keith Pavlischek

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