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US Supreme Court Denies Same-Sex Marriage Appeal in DC

Yesterday the US Supreme Court declined to hear a case filed by Bishop Harry Jackson, the National Organization for Marriage, and the Alliance Defense Fund challenging the District of Columbia’s law allowing same-sex couples to marry. The groups filed the lawsuit after the DC Board of Elections and Ethics refused a ballot measure allowing residents of the District of Columbia to vote on same-sex marriage laws. The Board maintained that adding the initiative to the ballot would have violated the city’s Human Rights Act.

Joe Solmonese, President of the Human Rights Campaign stated, “Today’s action by the Supreme Court makes abundantly clear that D.C.’s human rights protections are strong enough to withstand the hateful efforts of outside anti-LGBT groups to put people’s basic civil rights on the ballot. For almost two years, the National Organization for Marriage and the Alliance Defense Fund, along with Bishop Harry Jackson, have fought a losing battle to shamelessly harm gay and lesbian couples in D.C. who seek nothing more than to share in the rights and responsibilities of marriage.”

In December 2009, the D.C. Council passed the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Act, which was signed into law on March 3, 2010 and granted marriage rights to same-sex couples in the District of Columbia. Currently, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Washington DC allow marriage of same-sex couples. Five states, California, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, and Washington, allow same-sex couples to form civil unions or domestic partnerships, which carry many of the benefits of marriage.

Sources:

Washington Post 1/19/11; Huffington Post 1/19/11; Human Rights Campaign 1/18/11