Marion Barry Votes Against Gay Marriage

Marion Barry Votes Against Gay Marriage December 2, 2009

I’m not sure what to make of this. In an interesting turn of events, two people, both democrats, voted against the D.C. City Council’s initiative to legalize same-sex marriage in the district. One is Yvette M. Alexander of Ward 7 and the other is former D.C. mayor, Marion Barry of Ward 8.

As to Barry’s reason? The Washington Post reports, he appears to be against the idea:

In a emotional speech before he cast his vote, Barry pleaded with gay men and lesbians not to hold his vote against him, saying that he has battled for gay rights since he began his political career in the 1970s.

‘I stand here today to express, in no uncertain terms, my strong commitment to the gay and lesbian, bisexual, transgender community on almost every issue except this one,’ Barry said.

There appears to be more to the story than this. As the Washington Times also points out, “Both have cited the will of their overwhelmingly black constituencies as the reason for their opposition.” In other words, they listened to the will of the people.

While that might seem like a good thing, is it? Does a politician have to reflect and vote exactly as the people dictate? Why or why not?

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