Marriage opponents to head LGBT, AIDS committees
In a development that may surprise some local activists, the two D.C. Council members who voted against the city’s same-sex marriage law have been assigned by Council Chair Phil Mendelson to head committees that oversee all of the city’s LGBT and AIDS-related programs. Although they emerged in 2009 as the only two on the Council to oppose same-sex marriage, Council members Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) and Yvette Alexander (D-Ward 7) have said they support the LGBT community on most other issues and are committed to efforts to fight AIDS. “There are always going to be disagreements and things that we’re not going to think the same on,” said Alexander, who replaced gay Council member David Catania (I-At-Large) as chair of the Council’s Committee on Health. In a phone interview with the Washington Blade, Alexander was asked if she thought LGBT activists burned their bridges with her when the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club endorsed her opponent in last year’s Democratic primary and the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance gave her a rating of -3.5 on LGBT issues on a rating scale of -10 to +10.