Gay marriage opponents sue to force DC ballot measure

Bishop Harry JacksonThe decision by the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics to block a ballot initiative to ban same-sex marriage reverberated on Capitol Hill and in the courts Wednesday as the battle continued over whether voters should have a say in the debate, reports the Washington Post.

Bishop Harry Jackson (pictured), represented by lawyers from a conservative legal organization, filed suit in D.C. Superior Court to reverse the elections board’s decision.

The board ruled Tuesday that the proposed initiative on whether to define marriage as being between a man and a woman violates the city’s Human Rights Act because it would be discriminatory toward gay men and lesbians.

Jackson and his seven co-petitioners argue that the city’s ordinances gives residents the same lawmaking power as the council, except for appropriations.

“The people of D.C. have a right to vote on the definition of marriage,” said Austin R. Nimocks, senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, the conservative legal group representing Jackson.

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) responded that he stands by the board’s opinion, which said city code prohibits a public vote on a matter protected under the Human Rights Act.

Full story at The Washington Post.

This Story Filed Under