Thursday, January 14, 2010

DC Court rejects attempt to put marriage equality on the ballot

From the WaPo:
A D.C. Superior Court judge ruled Thursday that same-sex marriage opponents do not have a right to hold a public referendum on whether those marriages should be legal in the District.

The ruling, a major victory for gay rights activists, makes it more likely that the District will start allowing same-sex couples to marry in March.

The D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics has twice ruled that a referendum or initiative on same-sex marriage would violate a city law prohibiting a public vote on a matter covered by the Human Rights Act, which outlaws discrimination against gay men and lesbians and other minority groups.....

In her ruling, Judge Judith N. Macaluso stated the board "properly rejected the proposed initiative" because of the Human Rights Act....

City leaders say that, barring intervention from Congress, marriage licenses will be available to same-sex couples around the first week of March.


Erika Baker said...

if the federal case went against same sex marriage, would a DC decision in its favour still be able to stand?

IT said...

Hi Erika,
THe case being tried right now is specifically about Prop 8. The decision is basically, do you overturn prop8, or not? I do not think that it will affect other jurisdictions if they find against us, because they are asking a specific question about whether Prop8 itself conflicts with the US constitution. They are NOT trying gay marriage generally, outside of hte context of Prop8.

On the other hand, if they find in favor of us, the decision could be very narrow (specific to California), or could be very broad (as in Loving v. Virigina, which overturned anti-miscegenation laws in all states that had them, not just VA.)