A proposal (of a different kind) at the same-sex marriage hearing
It's been the marriage proposal heard 'round the District.
Andrew Hertzberg popped the question Monday to partner Andy Rollman as he testified before a D.C. Council committee on a bill that would legalize same-sex nuptials in the District.
The proposal could be likened to seeing "Will You Marry Me?" on a JumboTron at a ball game. But Hertzberg's demonstration of commitment to Rollman was also part of a strategy by same-sex marriage supporters to show the "human side" of the issue to the public, said Nick McCoy, a field organizer for the Human Rights Campaign.
The public proposal has been a hit on blogs.
Advocates were strategic about the organization of its dozens of witnesses Monday, guiding them in their oral and written testimony.
Opposition to the bill, which the D.C. Council could pass by Christmas, have vowed to fight for a referendum on gay marriage or attempt to apply the federal Defense of Marriage Act to ban same-sex marriage in the city.
The bill has generated lots of interest. Council member Phil Mendelson, chairman of the Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary, had to split a hearing into two days so that
hundreds of people could testify. Part one of the hearing was Oct. 26.
McCoy said Hertzberg told him about his plan. "I knew. Andy (Rollman) didn't know," McCoy said of the proposal.
"What better way than for everyone to see it on a momentous occasion," McCoy said. "It's a grand thing to show your love, declare your love and have it respected like everyone else's."
McCoy said Monday's hearing was also used to show the support of the black community for the bill, rounding up African American witnesses to testify. He also said advocates wanted to show that religious leaders are also supportive.
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