Utah congressman attempts to overturn DC gay marriage law


LGBTQ Nation

A Utah congressman on Wednesday introduced a disapproval resolution designed to reverse a D.C. City Council ruling that would permit gay marriage in the nation’s capital.


Freshman lawmaker, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said that the measure is not likely to come up for a vote, but said his bill is “more symbolic than it is realistic.”

“I wish it would come up for a vote, because I think traditional marriage would win. But with the Democrats controlling the House, the Senate and the presidency, I can’t imagine that this would make it through the process,” Chaffetz told Utah’s Deseret News.

The D.C. Council approved legislation legalizing same-sex marriages on Dec. 12, and Mayor Adrian Fenty signed the bill three days later. If Congress doesn’t act to stop it, city officials have said they expect gay marriage to take place in the District beginning March 2.

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) issued a statement Wednesday evening saying she has received assurance from House Democratic leaders that the House will not even vote on Chaffetz’s resolution, calling the gay marriage bill “a home rule and human rights issue for the District alone to decide.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has previously said that House Democratic leaders favor allowing D.C. to pass its own laws without congressional interference.

In related news, the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics held another hearing Wednesday to decide whether same-sex marriage opponents can hold voter referendum to overturn the D.C. Council bill legalizing gay marriage.

The hearing marks the third time this year that elections board has been called on to decide whether voters should have a chance to weigh in on the same-sex marriage.

In the two previous rulings, the board determined that allowing a vote would violate D.C’s 1977 Human Rights Act, which bars discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Earlier this month, a D.C. Superior Court judge rejected gay marriage opponents efforts to hold a public referendum on whether gay marriage, reinforcing the Board’s assertion that a ballot initiative would in fact violate the Human Rights Act.

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