Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Opponents of Marriage Equality Won't Give Up on Keeping It Out of D.C.

Maryland's Bishop Harry Jackson just won't give up.

In May, the D.C. city council voted to recognize same-sex unions performed in other states, and though he and his supporters Stand 4 Marriage Coalition tirelessly worked to thwart this progress by demanding a public referendum, D.C.'s Board of Elections denied Jackson's request citing it would violate the city's human rights act. A district judge had the final say, agreeing with the board.

Washington D.C. council member David A. Catania (I-At Large) is expected to file a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in the District itself. Of course, Jackson won't have this and has preemptively moved to keep Catania's bill from passing.

Tuesday morning Jackson proposed a new initiative urging the Board to allow a public referendum to determine whether to legalize same-sex marriage in the District.

"Defining marriage between a man and a woman as the only valid recognized marriage in the District," reads the first line of the initiative.

The Washington Post reports, "Peter Rosenstein, president of the Campaign for All D.C. Families, believes that Jackson won't prevail in his efforts: 'It is our belief that once again Bishop Jackson will find that the laws of D.C. protect minorities from discrimination of the sort that he and his followers would like to inflict. I hope that when this initiative is ruled out of order that the bishop will then return to Maryland and leave the people of the District alone so that they may continue to celebrate the diversity that has made our city great.'"

Seriously, Jackson is like a gnat that won't go away. Yesterday, a new interview with the bishop was posted. In it, he implores voters in other states to pressure Congress to put the kibosh on any efforts to bring marriage equality to the District. Not surprising. Since he himself is not a resident of D.C., why not?

Transcript via Pam's House Blend:
"Let me share with you, one of the unique dynamics of DC that makes your prayer, your involvement, your writing your Congressman so very important: Currently, every law that is passed in DC has got to be approved by the Congress. In other words, DC does not really have 'home rule.' Once they pass a law, that law has 30 days in which Congress, in its legislative sessions can decide that the city should not take the measure that they have taken. So, right now, we have the opportunity to block same-sex marriage reciprocity. We have an opportunity to block the rise of an overt same-sex marriage law by having your Congressman say, 'Not on my watch.' And tell them, the people must decide... We can turn this thing around by signatures for a referendum. And we can say yes to marriage, no to same-sex reciprocity, no to the land becoming a modern Sodom and Gomorrah, because you've reached out and responded to your Congressman.... What happens in DC, doesn't stay in DC."

Find out how you can get involved in the capital at DC for Marriage.

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