Superior Court Judge Judith Retchin ruled not to delay the enactment of the law stipulating that the D.C. government will recognize same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions. (Read the ruling.)
The stay was requested by opponents of marriage equality, Stand 4 Marriage DC Coalition, headed up by Bishop Harry Jackson, because they needed more time to prepare to argue against the law. They prefer a voter referendum on the issue, but the D.C. elections board said that would be illegal under the District's Human Rights Act.
Retchin reprimanded the opponents for "inexcusable" delay in filing with the court and that they failed to establish a "likelihood of success on the merits" of their arguments, which she said was based simply on their disagreement to recognize same-sex marriage and not being denied a referendum.
Jackson issued a statement, calling the ruling "an absurd judgment."
"Our laws have always recognized that marriage is between a man and a woman," he said. "This is the law in 44 states and at the federal level. The real human rights issue at stake in this decision is whether the people of D.C. will be given their right to vote."
Jackson vows to keep fighting.