Today, The Gertrude Stein Democratic Club of Washington, DC released the following statement in response to Councilmember Marion Barry’s statements at an anti-marriage equality rally held on Tuesday April 28th at Freedom Plaza organized by Bishop Harry Jackson of Hope Christian Church in Bowie.
"It is unfortunate that Councilmember Barry, whose political career was born in the crucible of America's civil rights struggles, has sided with the forces of bigotry and intolerance, especially after having established a clear and consistent record of being supportive of LGBT issues. It is unclear to us why Mr. Barry has chosen this point in history to contradict his own previous past support for the LGBT community when more people than ever, both in DC and throughout the country, have expressed support for marriage equality. It is also unfortunate that the councilmember has chosen to use invective and name-calling, rather than provide any reasonable basis for his position."
The Gertrude Stein Democratic Club endorsed Marion Barry during his 2008 re-election bid for his current Ward 8 city council seat. During the Stein Club’s June 2008 endorsement meeting councilmember Barry stated that if a marriage equality bill was to come before the DC city council that he would vote for it.
Members of The Gertrude Stein Democratic Club have had a long history of support for Councilmember Barry going back to his first mayoral campaign, “but that ended today”, says Stein Club President Jeffrey Richardson.
“The Stein Club may have endorsed Mr. Barry in 2008, but we cannot and will not support him, or any other DC elected official, that is willing to use our community’s fight for equality as a divisive political game. Yesterday Mr. Barry not only voiced his opposition for marriage equality in the District of Columbia, but he stood side by side with people he proclaimed as the moral leaders of our community as they fanned the flames of hate, bigotry, and intolerance”, stated by Jeffrey Richardson, President Gertrude Stein Democratic Club.
The executive committee of the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club has requested a meeting with Councilmember Barry and as the leaders of the LGBT caucus of the DC Democratic Party have withdrawn support for Councilmember Barry until such time that he publicly disassociates himself with the statements made at Tuesday’s rally and issues a formal apology to the Stein Club, the DC LGBT community, and residents of the District at-large.