September 9, 2010 at 5:31 pm EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Catania opponent disqualified from ballot

A D.C. minister who was endorsed by the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage in his effort to oppose gay D.C. Council member David Catania (I-At-Large) in the city’s November election was disqualified from the race last week by the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics.

In a statement, Anthony Motley told supporters the election board notified him that he did not fulfill the requirements for placement on the ballot. The Washington Post reported that Motley failed to collect 3,000 valid petition signatures needed to appear on the ballot for a citywide, at-large race.

Motley has said he supports LGBT equality in general but opposed legal recognition of same-sex marriage, a position that prompted same-sex marriage opponents to back him over Catania, who wrote and became the lead sponsor of the city’s same-sex marriage law.

Similar to Catania, Motley entered the race as an independent, making him eligible for a seat on the Council reserved for candidates who are not members of the city’s majority party. Since the Democratic Party is the majority party on Council, Democrats are not eligible to run for seat held by Catania as well as one other Council seat not up for election this year.

With Motley out of the race, Catania is not expected to face serious opposition. The deadline for submitting petitions for getting on the November ballot has already passed.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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