Dear Councilmember Barry,
Members of the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club have expressed outrage and disappointed in your attendance and comments at the anti-marriage equality rally at Freedom Plaza on Tuesday April 28th, 2009. Tuesday’s rally was not simply a rally in opposition to marriage equality in the District of Columbia, but it was a rally demonizing members of the LGBT community as the moral downfall for America. While we are strongly disappointed with your decision to flip flop on your endorsement statement to the Stein Club in June of 2008, that if a marriage equality bill was presented to the council that you would vote for it, we are outraged that you as a former champion for civil rights and friend of our community would stand side by side with those that speak hate, bigotry, and intolerance.
We cannot understand why you would stand in support of members of the LGBT community, Stein Club members who endorsed you, being compared to “pedophiles and thieves”, after having established a clear and consistent record of being supportive of LGBT issues. These statements went beyond anti-gay rhetoric and crossed over into total bigotry.
While your political career was born in the crucible of America's civil rights struggles, Tuesday you choice to side with the forces of bigotry and intolerance, and that is something that the members of the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club cannot, and will not tolerate from any elected official we endorse or support.
Members of The Gertrude Stein Democratic Club have consistently supported you since the club was established in 1976 and Tuesday April 28th will go down as a sad day in the club’s history because we had to renounce our support for one of our most beloved local Democratic elected officials.
The executive committee of the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club requests a meeting with you to discuss your comments and your presence at Tuesday’s rally and as the LGBT caucus of the DC Democratic Party withdraws our support until such time that you publicly disassociate yourself with the statements made at Tuesday’s rally and issue a formal apology to the Stein Club and the DC LGBT community.
We cannot question your decision to not support marriage equality, but we cannot and will not support you, or any other DC elected official, that is willing to use our community’s fight for equality as a divisive political game.
The Members of the Gertrude Stein Executive Committee