hat inthe ring
Providence mayor isone of several openlygay candidates forCongress this year.
This photo ofShi-Queeta Leeis part of a newexhibit called DRAG.PAGE 18
Are gays beingoverly critical ofPresident Obama’sfirst year in office?
the lgbtq community’s news source
dcagenda.com • vol. 2, issue 8 • february 19, 2010
Democratic retirements could derail LGBT advances
Bayh’s decision seenas threat to ‘Don’t Ask,’DOMA repeals
By CHRIS JOHNSONcjohnson@dcagenda.com
The surprise retirement announce-ment from Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) onMonday came as a political shock inWashington and fueled the notion that2010 will be a bad year for Democrats.While political experts are expect-ing Democrats to retain control ofboth the House and the Senate —albeit with slimmer majorities — pun-dits are saying pro-LGBT legislationwould require an extra push fromsupporters following the election tomake it through Congress.Bayh formally announced Mondayhis intention to vacate his seat at theend of the year. Emphasizing his con-tinued commitment to public service,Bayh said he wanted to retire in partbecause his desire to serve as a U.S.senator has waned.“For some time, I’ve had the grow-ing conviction that Congress is notoperating as it should,” he said.“There is much too much partisan-ship and not enough progress, toomuch ideology and not enough prac-tical problem solving.”Bayh’s retirement came as a sur-prise to many because he was seenas a rising star in the Democratic Partyand has been mentioned as a possiblepresidential candidate. The senatorreportedly had $13 million in his cof-fers for a re-election campaign, andwas the leader of a group of moderateDemocrats that had pledged to workfor centrist policies on Capitol Hill.The Indiana senator hasn’t beenat the forefront of LGBT causes dur-ing his tenure in Congress, butstepped up to the plate when supportwas necessary. Bayh voted againstthe Federal Marriage Amendment in2004 and 2006, and voted in favor ofhate crimes legislation.Michael Mitchell, executive directorof the National Stonewall Democrats,said Bayh’s record on LGBT issues isattributable to the fact that he comesfrom a state that’s somewherebetween moderate and conservativein its political leanings.“I think whoever takes his place isgoing to lean toward the more BlueDog, or the more conservative side ofthe Democratic Party anyway,” Mitchellsaid. “It would be wonderful to seesomeone who’s pro-equality there, andwe’ll see how that plays out.”But Bayh’s retirement means anincumbent Democrat won’t be run-ning for the seat, increasing thechances that a Republican could winthe spot in November.That’s why Sean Theriault, a gaygovernment professor at theUniversity of Texas, Austin, calledBayh’s decision to leave the Senate“bad news for the Democrats.”“It takes a race that could have
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more onmarriagein d.c.
Same-sex couplesshould begin marryingin the District inearly March, barringunexpected interventionby Congress.
Religious groups fightnew law,
The business of marriage,
Directory of LGBT-friendlychurches,
Planning a stylishreception,
Photo by Robert Dodge; courtesy of Dodge
D.C. churches, courtsprepare for firstsame-sex weddings
By LOU CHIBBARO JR.email@example.comEditors’ note:
This is the second ofa three-part series on preparing for thearrival of same-sex marriage in D.C.With the city’s historic same-sexmarriage law expected to take effect inless than three weeks, the applicationform for a marriage license at the D.C.Superior Court still leaves space onlyfor the names of bride and groom.But a spokesperson for D.C.Council member David Catania (I-AtLarge), author of the ReligiousFreedom & Civil Marriage EqualityAmendment Act, said the marriagelicense application form is among afew last-minute details that the cityand the court are expected toaddress in the next two weeks.The law that Catania wrote and theCity Council approved allows partnersto describe themselves on a marriagelicense as a bride, groom or spouse.Ben Young, Catania’s chief of staff,told DC Agenda this week that theform change was “being worked on.”A spokesperson for the court didnot respond before deadline to aninquiry from DC Agenda about thecourt’s plans for implementing thesame-sex marriage law. But forsame-sex couples planning to wed inthe District after the new law takeseffect March 3, a civil wedding at thecourthouse or a religious weddingfrom an LGBT-friendly place of wor-ship will be available to them.
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Here come the grooms
retirement could make it more difficult for congressionalDemocrats to advance LGBT-related bills.
Photo courtesy of Bayh’s office