HRC Blog

DC Court Rejects Anti-Marriage Equality Initiative

Signs 1.285Today, D.C. Superior Court Judge Judith N. Macaluso issued a ruling [pdf] rejecting the arguments in a case brought by anti-marriage equality activists and backed by thirty-nine forty-nine* Republican members of Congress that argued the D.C. Board of Elections was wrong to prevent a ballot initiative defining marriage as only between a man and a woman.  Marriage equality advocates are the victors in the case with the judge upholding the election board's decision that the initiative would violate the Human Rights Act and is therefore not a proper subject for the ballot.  This follows a string of decisions that have consistently prevented a referendum on the subject of marriage equality. However, those fighting for equal marriage in the District are not out of the woods yet.  The case is likely to be appealed to the D.C. Court of Appeals and a second effort petitioning for a referendum specifically on the new marriage equality law is still pending.  As to that referendum, the Board of Elections and Ethics just noticed a meeting on the matter [pdf] for Wednesday, January 27th. Said Aisha Mills, president of the Campaign for All DC Families:

“The Campaign for All D.C. Families appreciates the court’s affirmation of the decision of the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics that a vote by the majority on the rights of a minority is not appropriate under D.C. law.”

Said Reverend Dennis Wiley, Pastor of Covenant Baptist Church:

“As a minister who’s been serving the Ward 8 community for over 40 years, I am pleased that the D.C. Superior Court has upheld the right of the D.C. Council to prohibit discrimination in our community. I think this decision will be a unifying moment that helps bring healing to many families in the District. Gay and lesbian families are an integral part of our community and our church.”

In other D.C. marriage news, yesterday, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah – one of the leading voices against marriage equality on the hill – introduced a bill in the House (H.R.4430) that would prevent the District government from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples until the issue is put to voters in some way.  Yet another way some members of Congress want to meddle in District affairs claiming a “right to vote” when they oppose voting Representation for D.C. in Congress. *originally there were 39 members of Congress supporting the case but that number has now increased to 49.

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