Gay Marriage | Harry Jackson | News | Washington DC

D.C. Elections Board Blocks Voter Referendum on Same-Sex Marriage

Yesterday, the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics blocked a referendum that would have put the D.C. Council's recent decision to recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere in front of voters:

Washingtondc "Unless a court intervenes, same-sex couples who marry in other states or countries will be considered legally married in the District as well in less than a month. And by the end of the year, the D.C. Council is expected to approve a bill to allow same-sex couples to be married in the city. The opinion states that city officials would "authorize discrimination" if they were to permit a referendum on whether to afford same-sex couples married elsewhere the same rights as opposite-sex couples. The two-member board cited District elections law, which prohibits a vote on a matter covered by the Human Rights Act. The 1977 act outlaws discrimination against gays and lesbians and other minority groups."

 Said Bishop Harry Jackson, who was spearheading the referendum:

Jackson"The real human rights issue at stake in this decision is whether the people of D.C. will be given their right to vote. We are not going to sit still for allowing an unelected board of bureaucrats to deny voters their rightful say on this issue and, by their action, allow the institution of marriage to be radically redefined."

It appears that the ruling paves the way for a marriage equality initiative within the district itself:

"Yesterday's ruling will probably embolden the D.C. Council to take up a separate proposal this year to allow same-sex marriages to be performed in the District. David A. Catania (I-At Large) said he plans to introduce the legislation in the fall. Board officials note that yesterday's ruling applies only to the question of whether a vote can be held on the bill to recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere. But the opinion by Errol R. Arthur, chairman of the board, and member Charles R. Lowery Jr., strongly suggests that the board would be skeptical of any initiative that would deny gays and lesbians any rights that straight people have."

FOX5 DC reports on the decision, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. good on the elections board. shame on the ignorant bishop.

    Posted by: nic | Jun 16, 2009 9:00:46 AM


  2. Can someone PLEASE tell all these religious wingnuts that they have no business being involved in politics? And if they really want to be involved will someone please make them accountable like every other political organization? It's about time they had to play by the same rules as everyone else - one way or another.

    Posted by: MT | Jun 16, 2009 9:32:01 AM


  3. go D.C.

    Posted by: david | Jun 16, 2009 10:12:08 AM


  4. Good news from D.C.

    As far as the good bishop, I'm sick to death of this red herring argument that "people are being denied their right to vote." They're erroneously trying to substitute a perceived Constitutional slight for a real one. (but even that is giving these people too much credit, it's all smoke and mirrors to mask their bigotry). CIVIL RIGHTS ARE NOT UP FOR A VOTE. Someone should point out to Bishop Jackson that, had the abolishment of slavery been put to a popular vote, he would most likely be someone's property.

    Posted by: ichabod | Jun 16, 2009 10:36:06 AM


  5. I wonder if the bishop is also so upset that we didn't get to vote on interracial marriage and slavery?

    Posted by: John M | Jun 16, 2009 11:10:02 AM


  6. The abolition of slavery was accomplished through a series of constitutional amendments, which required ratification by the states -- meaning votes.

    Civil rights are frequently up for a vote. Eventually they win. This is a marathon, not a sprint.

    Posted by: J.Lowrot | Jun 16, 2009 11:10:09 AM


  7. Can we please put slavery back on the ballot and could we please take a vote on religion and politics. I believe that in most of the southern states slavery would be upheld even to this day.

    Posted by: David C | Jun 16, 2009 1:00:59 PM


  8. Would Jackson have wanted his civil rights as an African-American put to a vote in the 60s?? The hypocrisy is reprehensible.

    Posted by: Jon | Jun 16, 2009 3:26:05 PM


  9. "wonder if the bishop is also so upset that we didn't get to vote on interracial marriage and slavery?"


    "Would Jackson have wanted his civil rights as an African-American put to a vote in the 60s??"

    Can we please put slavery back on the ballot and could we please take a vote on religion and politics. I believe that in most of the southern states slavery would be upheld even to this day"

    "Someone should point out to Bishop Jackson that, had the abolishment of slavery been put to a popular vote, he would most likely be someone's property."

    I'm sure that the Mayor of DC and all those black DC city council members who voted in favor of recognizing the marriage rights of gay appreciate these remarks from WHITE gay....persons.

    Oh, JOHN M, as hard as it may be for you to believe--interracial marriage doesn't interest most black folks.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jun 17, 2009 11:18:32 AM


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