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DC Judge Rules Against Gay Marriage Referendum

A Washington, DC, Superior Court judge ruled yesterday that a referendum on same-sex marriage would violate the city’s Human Rights Act. The ruling (see PDF) upheld two previous decisions by the DC Board of Elections and Ethics that rejected ballot initiative proposals on same-sex marriage. Opponents to marriage equality plan to appeal the decision to the DC Court of Appeals, according to the Christian Science Monitor. In her ruling, Judge Judith Macaluso wrote, “the fact that the proposed initiative, if passed, would violate the Human Rights Act provides an independent basis for upholding the Board’s decision: the initiative runs afoul of an implied exclusion barring provisions that violates the state’s law.” The Washington, DC, city council voted 11 to 2 to legalize same-sex marriage in December. If the bill is not overturned during a mandatory 30 day congressional review, then Washington D.C. will join Connecticut, Iowa, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Vermont in granting same-sex marriages. Congress has expressed little interest in intervening with the law and did not intervene when the DC City Council voted to recognize out-of-state same sex marriages in July. Without intervention from Congress or through a ballot initiative, marriage licenses will start being issued to same-sex couples in March.

Sources:

Christian Science Monitor 1/14/10; DC Superior Court Ruling 1/14/10; Feminist Daily Newswire 12/15/09

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