The Supreme Court had declined without comment to hear an appeal to the District of Columbia’s same-sex marriage law. This law is two-fold in that it allows for same-sex marriages to be performed in the District and it likewise recognizes same-sex marriages performed outside the District. Opponents have now exhausted their legal avenues, but the battle could just be getting started. From the Washington Post:
Brian Brown, executive director of the National Organization for Marriage, one of the organizations that had asked the Supreme Court to consider the case, said he and fellow activists will “look at what the best route is” to have Congress intervene to try to force a referendum.
The lawsuit was filed by a group led by Maryland minister Harry R. Jackson Jr., who has campaigned against the gay marriage law with the backing of the National Organization for Marriage and other national groups. It did not directly challenge the legality of the District’s same-sex marriage statute but instead held that the District’s Board of Elections and Ethics erred in ruling that the law could not be subjected to a referendum.
The board had ruled on several occasions that a provision in the city’s Human Rights Act prohibited the marriage question from being put to a vote. Jackson’s group had said that the provision could not trump the District’s charter, which provides for voter-initiated laws and ballot review of laws enacted by the council.
Eleanor Holmes Norton (D), the District’s nonvoting delegate, said she and Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) plan to meet next week with Emerson and Gowdy to deliver a “hands-off” message. She also called on District residents to refrain from lobbying the Hill for intervention.
“No self-respecting resident of the District of Columbia would ever want to ask the Congress of the United States to overturn local laws, any more than any Baltimorean or Virginian would ask the Congress to overturn local law,” she said.
Congressional intervention on this matter will reek of big government intrusion in my opinion, so it should be interesting to see if the new members of Congress opt for standing by what they claim are their limited government principles or if they hypocritically sacrifice them for the sake of pursuing an outdated social agenda.