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“I am a politician who is moral.”
—Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry, April 28
That quote came from a pivotal April rally of conservative clergy to protest gay marriage. And that’s all you need to know about how this coalition fared in 2009. Events later in the year would tamp down Barry’s moralizing, but his anti-marriage stance would persist sans sermons. As the marriage debate continued through the year, Barry’s earth-shattering irony gave way to plain-old political pandering; he eventually explained his vote to a reporter as such: “Politically you can’t keep going against your community or they’ll put you out of office.” Never mind that he possibly holds the safest seat in all of D.C.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery