Immediately after the D.C. Council’s 12-1 vote to recognize same-sex marriage in other states, a small group of ministers and church congregants raised a ruckus in the hallway outside the fifth-floor council chamber at the John A. Wilson Building.
Perhaps the most livid was a well-dressed gentleman who identified himself as Paul Trantham, a member of Allen Chapel AME Church in Ward 8. “You are destroying our youth!” he cried to dozen gathered outside. “An abomination to God!”
Rev. Charlie Smith of the Missionary Baptist Conference urged electoral retribution: “Catania first!” he shouted.
Same goes for the Rev. Anthony Evans of Mount Zion Baptist Church in Ward 5. “They just kissed themselves goodbye,” he said of councilmembers. “Harry Thomas is gone.”
Same-sex supporters were outside as well; they were, needless to say, in a better mood. Says activist Peter Rosenstein, “I think it was an amazing day for the D.C. Council.” In response to the ministerial demonstrations, he said, “I think people need to recognize there’s a separation of church and state.”
Also in attendance was former Department of Parks and Recreation Director Clark Ray, who said, “I just think it’s a great day for the residents of the District of Columbia.”