Since beginning his policical career, Adrian Fenty has been a supporter of marriage equality for the District of Columbia. Fenty's support for marriage equality distinguished him from other candidates early in his 2006 Mayoral campaign.
While we are lucky to enjoy strong support from the Mayor, many in the LGBT community have expressed disappointment that Fenty did not honor his campaign pledge to immediately release an important legal memo concerning recognizing same-sex marriages from other states.
Reprinted below are Adrian Fenty's answers to the GLAA 2006 Mayoral Questionnaire.
Do you support legal recognition of marriages between partners of the same sex?
Yes. I support full civil marriage between partners of the same sex. My position has not changed since I ran for my first term as Ward 4 councilmember: same sex marriage is a question of fairness and equality.
I will be working with DC Vote and other organizations for the freedom to enact our laws based on the needs and desires of the people of the District not the Congress.. I will work closely with GLAA and other GLBT organizations in the District to determine what our legislative strategies will be as we move to full civil marriage right for same sex couples in the District.
Will your Administration publicize and enforce the recently enacted laws that have significantly expanded the rights and responsibilities of domestic partners?
Yes. I supported the recently enacted laws that have given our GLBT community more rights and expanded the rights of domestic partners. My administration will make sure that these new laws are publicized and that those living in the District will be made aware of the rights they have if they register as domestic partners. I will hold a press briefing on these new laws and other issues of importance to the GLBT community that will include our community newspapers such as the Washington Blade and Metro Weekly, the InTowner and the Hill Rag among others as well as using the city’s website and every other potential news outlet to get this information out to the community.
I will also make sure that the meetings of the LGBT office and their advisory Board are announced to the community, with proper notice, so that people may find out what that office is doing.
Will you support legislation in the District to continue expanding the existing domestic partnership program to include all relevant rights and responsibilities of marriage in D.C. law?
Yes. My administration will work with GLAA and other GLBT groups, as well as the DC Council and particularly the Chair of the Council’s Judiciary Committee, to make sure that we continue to expand the rights and responsibilities of our domestic partnership program until we can pass our own same-sex civil marriage law. That must be our long term goal but until that time I will move in tandem with the community to continue to add the rights that those legally married in the District now have to our domestic partner program.
Will you support the legislative and/or regulatory changes necessary to ensure that the District recognizes civil unions, domestic partnerships and similar legal relationships established in other jurisdictions?
Yes. We have in the District of Columbia one of the highest percentages of gay families to our total population that any other city in the nation. We have over 5% of couples households in the District that identify as gay or lesbian.
GLAA completed a report that identified 212 rights and responsibilities under the DC marriage laws and the US Government Accountability Office has said there are 1,138 rights, benefits and privileges related to marriage under federal law. I support moving forward with the Community in identifying additional rights and responsibilities that we can add to our domestic partnership program.
I am also supportive of recognizing the rights and responsibilities given to these relationships in other states when those couples move to the District of Columbia. This will make DC a more attractive place to move to and one of our goals is to increase our population and our tax base. Having said this I understand the relationship we have with the Congress and I will not take any actions, without full consultation and the support of the GLBT community in the District, that would provoke a retaliatory response by those in Congress who would spread their rampant homophobia and use their control over the District to do that.