Below is my testimony given today on the marriage equality bill that is before the DC City Council…
The Council of the District of Columbia
Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary Legislative Hearing
On Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Amendment Act of 2009
Phil Mendelson, Chairman
John A. Wilson Building
November 2, 2009
Mr. Chairman, Members of the Council,
Thank you for allowing me here today. I come before you as a 13 year resident of Ward 6, a civic leader, a small business owner, and a Christian. I am a Republican, and serve as a member of the DC Republican Committee, as well as on the board of directors for the DC Log Cabin Republicans.
I am pleased to lend my support to the bill that is before you today. Marriage equality is a vital step in assuring the true meaning of our Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment clause of equal protection under the law. Thomas Jefferson once said, “No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another.”
We have seen over the years the outcome when the majority dictates what rights are afforded to the minority. From the Dred Scott cases of 1857 involving freedom, to the Loving v. Virgina case in 1967 dealing with interracial marriage, this great country has started out on the wrong side of history and equality, only to be rectified with the courts interceding.
Today, we have a chance to not only come down on the right side of history, but to also do so without the involvement of the judiciary branch of government.
Many of the detractors to this bill have and will continue to argue on moral and religious grounds as to why this is a travesty. I wish to remind them that this country was built on religious freedom. I wish also to remind them that many of those who came before us used the same great Book to deny slaves their freedom.
In Matthews 5:10, it reads, “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.” And John 13:34 quotes Jesus as saying “a new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you.”
Mr. Chairman, that is all we are asking for; to be able to love and show that love and have that love legally recognized.