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:
"Unless a court intervenes, same-sex couples who marry in other statesor countries will be considered legally married in the District as wellin less than a month. And by the end of the year, the D.C. Council isexpected to approve a bill to allow same-sex couples to be married inthe city. The opinion states that city officials would "authorizediscrimination" if they were to permit a referendum on whether toafford same-sex couples married elsewhere the same rights asopposite-sex couples. The two-member board cited District elections law, which prohibits avote on a matter covered by the Human Rights Act. The 1977 act outlawsdiscrimination against gays and lesbians and other minority groups."
Said Bishop Harry Jackson, who was spearheading the referendum:
"The real human rights issue at stake in this decision is whether thepeople of D.C. will be given their right to vote. Weare not going to sit still for allowing an unelected board ofbureaucrats to deny voters their rightful say on this issue and, bytheir action, allow the institution of marriage to be radicallyredefined."
"Yesterday's ruling will probably embolden the D.C. Council to take up aseparate proposal this year to allow same-sex marriages to be performedin the District. David A. Catania (I-At Large) said he plans tointroduce the legislation in the fall. Board officials note that yesterday's ruling applies only to thequestion of whether a vote can be held on the bill to recognizesame-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 initiativethat would deny gays and lesbians any rights that straight people have."
FOX5 DC reports on the decision, AFTER THE JUMP…