Gay marriage is coming to the District. The D.C. Council voted 11-2 on Tuesday to make the city the sixth jurisdiction in the United States to legalize same-sex unions.
Mayor Adrian M. Fenty has vowed to sign the legislation after a second Council vote Dec. 15. It will then go to Congress for a mandatory 30-day review process and be approved by the Democratic-controlled majority.
By early next year, the District will start authorizing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples - the seat of the federal government thereby joining Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont and (beginning in January) New Hampshire. The homosexual movement is on the march.
The bill represents the triumph of liberal elitism over the will of the people. The majority of District residents disapprove of same-sex marriage. In particular, the issue has exposed profound racial divisions. The city's small, latte-sipping, upscale and left-leaning white community generally favors it. Blacks - by large numbers and of all social and economic stripes - oppose it.
This is because most blacks are socially conservative. Religion plays a central role in their lives and communities. As devout Christians or Muslims, many blacks are pro-life cultural traditionalists who do not share the Democratic Party's secular liberal agenda.
Yet gay marriage is being passed against their will. Marion Barry, the former mayor of the District, was one of the two council members to vote against the bill because it is highly unpopular with his overwhelmingly black constituents.
Mr. Barry understands that his job is to represent the values and interests of his voters rather than to kowtow to chic leftist causes that will further undermine the black community.
Many blacks resent the fact that homosexual activists have usurped the legacy of civil rights. Gay-rights advocates argue that same-sex marriage is an extension of the struggle against oppression; only this time, it is not institutionalized racism but "homophobia" that must be dismantled. In their view, the legalization of gay marriage is a matter of equality under the law and extending full human rights to a discriminated-against segment of the population.
However, the quest to legalize gay marriage is not really about securing "justice" but is an attempt to legitimize homosexual behavior by encoding it into law.
Gays and lesbians are not forced to sit at the back of the bus as blacks once were. They are not denied voting rights or access to lunch counters. There are no permissive laws regarding the lynching of homosexuals. In short, gays and lesbians enjoy the same political and legal rights as do all other Americans.
They are free to engage in consensual sex in the privacy of their own bedrooms: They are not victims of state-sanctioned subjugation. To claim otherwise trivializes the unique brutal struggles faced by blacks throughout centuries of slavery and segregation.
Moreover, same-sex marriage represents a fundamental assault on the family unit. For thousands of years, the marital union between a man and a woman has been the central institution of Western civilization. It is the means by which society has perpetuated itself, producing and socializing children in order to transmit one generation to the next.
The primary aim of heterosexual marriage is to raise children. Hence, gay marriage is a contradiction in terms: the act of natural procreation is impossible. Almost every major religion - such as Christianity, Judaism and Islam - prohibits same-sex unions for this reason.
Only since the radical 1960s has marriage been redefined into an all-consuming quest for self-fulfillment and self-gratification. Selfishness has replaced selflessness. The results have been disastrous: abortion, skyrocketing divorce rates, rampant pornography, a dramatic increase in out-of-wedlock births, the proliferation of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, the breakdown of the family, shattered homes, broken lives and the coarsening of our culture.
Homosexual marriage will deliver the death blow to the traditional family - and with it the very basis of traditional America. This is why leftists have embraced gay rights. Their goal is not to advance "civil rights" but to consolidate the sexual revolution.
The Democrats are the party of socialism and sex. And their primary victims have been blacks. The New Deal/Great Society welfare state has failed to improve the lives of blacks or eliminate the mass poverty endemic in the inner cities.
In fact, it has only ensured that many blacks remain dependent upon government handouts, stifling the habits of self-reliance, personal responsibility and entrepreneurship. The Democrats have kept blacks - along with other minorities and labor unions - as a reliable voting group by making them addicted to statism.
As a result, there are two Americas. One America is capitalist and mostly governed by a vibrant, wealth-generating private sector. The other is socialist, marked by economic stagnation and dirigisme.
For too long, the Democrats have taken the black vote for granted. They have ignored the economic interests and social values of most blacks. They have placed power and libertine leftist ideology above the needs of the black community. The District's drive toward same-sex marriage is simply another betrayal in a long line of abuse of blacks perpetrated by their Democratic leaders.
It is time for blacks to free themselves from the chains of liberalism.
Jeffrey T. Kuhner is a columnist at The Washington Times and president of the Edmund Burke Institute, a Washington think tank. He is the daily radio host of the "Kuhner Show" on WTNT 570-AM (www.talk570.com) from noon to 3 p.m.