NewsWed Jul 8, 2009 - 12:15 pm EST
Out-of-State Same-Sex “Marriages” Now Have Full Effect in D.C.
By Peter J. Smith
WASHINGTON, D.C., July 8, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Same-sex "marriages" performed in other states have full legal recognition in the District of Columbia now that a bill passed by the federal district's council has come into effect. The law is considered a stepping stone on the way toward full legalization of same-sex "marriage," which would allow homosexuals to "wed" in the nation's capital.
The DC city council had passed the law May 5 by a 12 - 1 margin, with councilman and former Mayor Marion Barry vigorously resisting the measure. Barry said at the time that "all hell is going to break loose," because the vast majority of the city's black community and black pastors adamantly oppose legalizing same-sex "marriage."
DC Mayor Adrian Fenty signed the Jury and Marriage Amendment Act of 2009 (JMA) on May 6. The measure finally took effect at 12:01 AM July 7 once the 60 day period for Congressional review had elapsed.
Advocates of natural marriage, led by the city's black pastors, fought to put the D.C. law to a vote by the people through the referendum process. However, the DC Board of Elections and Ethics (BOEE) refused to certify a referendum, contending that overturning the law would constitute a violation of the rights of homosexuals guaranteed under the city's Human Rights Act (HRA).
The Stand 4 Marriage coalition, led by Bishop Harry Jackson of Beltsville's Hope Christian Church, then tried to get D.C. Superior Court Judge Judith E. Retchin to impose an injunction on the JMA and overrule the BOEE's decision. However Retchin denied the motion, and agreed with the BOEE that the people could not exercise the power of referendum, because putting the recognition of same-sex "marriage" to a popular vote would be tantamount to "authorizing discrimination" on the basis of gender or sexual orientation. On that basis, Retchin ruled, the measure failed to qualify as a "proper subject" for referendum.
With the law now in place, marriage advocates in the capital district will have to appeal to the initiative process in order to preserve the definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman. According to the Alliance Defense Fund, a legal advocacy group representing the interests of D.C. marriage advocates, the HRA should remain no obstacle to putting such an initiative on the ballot.
"While the Superior Court's decision on the referendum disenfranchised the voters of D.C. with respect to the law that just went into effect, the decision specifically left open the possibility of the voters of D.C. filing a marriage initiative," stated ADF attorney, Tim Tracey.
Tracey told LifeSiteNews.com, "ADF will continue to defend the right of D.C. residents to vote on this crucial public policy issue because their elected representatives and the D.C. courts have thus far refused to do so."
Until then, the establishment of same-sex "marriage" in D.C. gives high-profile attention to the homosexual movement, which is putting increasing pressure on national politicians to normalize homosexuals unions through federal law, specifically by repealing the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. US President Barack Obama has promised homosexual leaders that he will sign laws repealing both measures once Congress passes such legislation.
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