Thursday, June 11, 2009

DC Board to Rule on Same-Sex Marriage Referendum Soon

On Wednesday, DC's Board of Elections & Ethics held a public hearing in which opinions from both sides of the city council's decision to recognize same-sex marriage performed elsewhere got to spar on whether or not DC residents should decide the issue in a referendum.

The board is expected to rule either today or early next week. The decision to have a referendum must have a majority, so if the board is split, it fails.

The Washington Times reports:
The board members appeared skeptical at the hearing of arguments made by referendum supporters that placing the issue on the ballot would not violate the District's Human Rights Act (HRA), which prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation. A referendum's subject cannot violate that act.
D.C. Attorney General Peter J. Nickles also submitted an opinion to the board Thursday saying the referendum should be rejected.

"As expressed in the HRA, the established public policy of the District of Columbia is to treat individuals as equals, whatever their gender, sexual orientation or marital status may be," Mr. Nickles wrote.
Bishop Harry Jackson Jr., pastor of the Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, Md., whose held protests against marriage equality, spoke at the hearing.

"They claim you can separate civil marriage and spiritual marriage, but clearly you cannot. It should be said that the citizens of the District should be heard on this."

Two things here. One, sorry you can't separate it, but it seems pretty simple to me. You can either get married in a religious building or not. You can either be married by a leader of faith or not.

Second, aren't you from Maryland?

Here's the Rev. Jackson below from an earlier protest.

Stay tuned for the board's ruling.

Image: Towleroad.

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