News (USA)

Judge rejects gay marriage opponents — refuses to ‘usurp’ DC elections board

Judge rejects gay marriage opponents — refuses to ‘usurp’ DC elections board

Another Superior Court judge has denied a request by gay marriage opponents to overturn a D.C. Board of Elections rulings against a referendum on the issue.

Earlier Friday, attorneys for Stand4MarriageDC and the Alliance Defense Fund, a conservative legal organization, went to court seeking a preliminary injunction, which would have stayed the effective date of D.C.’s Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Act of 2009.

After hearing from both sides, Superior Court Judge Brian F. Holeman tentatively denied the motion from the bench, ruling that the court lacked the power “to usurp the legislative process,” and that opponents did not establish they would suffer irreparable harm if the law were to take effect as scheduled.

Holeman is the third Superior Court judge to rule against same-sex marriage opponents. The elections board has refused to put gay marriage on the ballot, ruling it would violate the city’s Human Rights Act, designed to protect gays and lesbians and other minority groups from discrimination.

The bill, approved in December, is currently on Capitol Hill, where it is undergoing a mandatory 30-day Congressional review period, but there has been no indications that the Democratic-controlled House and Senate plan to intervene.

If Congress takes no action, gay couples will be allowed to marry in the District around March 3.

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