The two no votes were cast by Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) and Yvette M. Alexander (D-Ward 7). Barry was adamant that his vote was not a repudiation of the GLBT community:
Before casting his vote, Barry gave an impassioned speech noting that he is a longtime supporter of gay rights. But Barry said that his constituents oppose same-sex marriage, and that he believed the council should have authorized a referendum on the issue.
"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.
He then went on to plead with gay and lesbian residents not to hold his "no" vote against him.
"It's not fair to make this one issue a litmus test as to one's commitment to human rights, to justice, and I resent those who would make it a litmus test," Barry said.
It is up to the GLBT community to determine what is and isn't a "litmus test" for their support. If I were them, I would not accept Barry's plea. I guess it is fortunate for the former mayor that I am not them.
In any event, congratulations to the District for taking such a big and important stride forward in our nation's ongoing quest for equality.
UPDATE: Ta-Nehisi Coates writes that there is very little difference between Barry and Barack Obama. That may or may not be true, and I imagine it is fortunate for Obama that he isn't being placed in a situation where he'd have to cast a vote on this.