D.C. marriage law poised to take effect

The Washington Blade
June 26, 2009
Attorneys for a minister seeking a voter referendum to overturn the District’s same-sex marriage recognition law are asking a D.C. judge to issue an injunction to suspend the July 6 deadline for meeting all the referendum’s requirements, including the submission of 21,000 valid petition signatures. Attorneys representing the city and a local gay rights group voiced strong objections to postponing the referendum deadline and vowed to file strongly worded motions opposing any stay order. Gay rights attorney, Mark Levine, called the request for a stay of the referendum deadline an unprecedented development that, if approved by the court, would overturn a key provision the city’s referendum law, which was approved by the D.C. City Council in the late 1970s and cleared by Congress. “Unlike other parties to this litigation, the city residents being targeted by the referendum consist of married couples, some with children, whose lives and families are affected by whether or not their marriages are legally recognized,” Levine said in a motion. “Those lives will be affected if the proponents get their way and enshrine them as de jure second-class citizens of the District of Columbia.” [Link]

Read More »

Editorial: Take the Plunge

The Washington Post
June 21, 2009
THE D.C. BOARD of Elections and Ethics was right. A proposed referendum that sought to overturn the D.C. Council's law recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions, which takes effect next month, was a violation of the District's elections law. The board's decision isn't the end of the process. Congress could step in. So far, it has shown the good sense to do nothing. Its 30-day review period is projected to end on July 6. Next the council is expected to consider legislation to legalize marriage equality in the District. Marriage is a cherished institution. It commits two loving people to each other. It nurtures families. And it should be open to all who want to be a part of it. [Link]

Read More »

The Clock Ticks Toward the Freedom to Marry in DC

DC City Paper
June 19, 2009
Supporters of a ballot measure conceded yesterday that their only hope was to have Judge Judith Retchin stop the clock from ticking toward a July 6 deadline—when the marriage recognition law goes into effect. With about two weeks needed to actually finalize the referendum language and prepare the petitions, supporters would only have a day or two to collect tens of thousands of signatures—if Retchin had yesterday immediately ordered that referendum is proper. [link]

Read More »

D.C. takes positive step toward the freedom to marry

USA Today
June 19, 2009

Yolanda Young writes, "Last month, the D.C. City Council took a small step: It passed a nearly unanimous resolution to recognize same-sex marriages conducted in other states. (Councilmember Marion Barry, who has had multiple run-ins with the law, was the loan dissenter, citing moral grounds.) Perhaps this vote is the beginning of a process that will see gay couples married in Washington.

This bill is significant for two reasons. First, because Congress can weigh in on Washington's legislative affairs, it presents an opportunity to take the nation's pulse on this issue. Second, Washington is the first predominantly black city to take up such a measure. So this can help illuminate the black community's voice on this divisive issue." (Link)

Read More »

In D.C., Marriage Equality Battle Heads to Court

The Washington Post
June 17, 2009
Opponents of marriage equality filed a lawsuit in D.C. Superior Court today hoping to force a referendum on whether to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions. The civil suit against the District's two-member Board of Elections asks Judge Judith E. Retchin to overturn an elections board ruling Monday that blocked a proposal to put the issue before the voters. If the court does not intervene, recognition of same-sex marriages performed elsewhere will become law in early July, after the required congressional review period has ended. [Link]

Read More »

Marriage Equality Gains Traction

The Washington Post
June 16, 2009
A ruling yesterday by D.C. elections officials suggests that only Congress or the courts can thwart the gathering momentum to legalize same-sex marriage in the District. The opinion states that city officials would "authorize discrimination" if they were to permit a referendum on whether to afford same-sex couples married elsewhere the same rights as opposite-sex couples. "This is a case where the human rights amendment protected the rights of individuals, and that is what it is supposed to do," said Peter Rosenstein, a veteran gay rights activist. "You don't put rights of a minority up to votes of a majority." [Link]

Read More »

D.C. officials block marriage referendum

Washington Blade
June 15, 2009
The D.C. Board of Elections & Ethics decided Monday that a proposed voter referendum seeking to overturn a city law recognizing same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions would violate the city's human rights law and could not be allowed. In their 12-page memorandum, board members Errol Arthur and Charles Lowery Jr. concluded "that the referendum does not present a proper subject of referendum because it would authorize discrimination prohibited under the Human Rights Act." [Link]

(Read decision at: http://www.dcboee.org/pdf_files/nr_207.pdf)

Read More »

Witnesses spar over marriage at election board hearing

Washington Blade
June 11, 2009
More than 100 people packed a D.C. Board of Elections & Ethics hearing room Wednesday as supporters and opponents of marriage equality presented opposing arguments regarding the validity of a proposed referendum to overturn the D.C. Jury & Marriage Amendment Act of 2009. The act, among other things, would allow the city to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states and countries. At issue, according to election board chair Errol Arthur, is whether the proposed referendum would cover one or more of eight restricted subject areas that are barred from going before the voters, including a proposal to raise or lower taxes or a proposal that would "unlawfully discriminate" under the D.C. Human Rights Act. [Link]

Read More »

Election Board Hearing TODAY Over DC Marriage

HRC Back Story
June 10, 2009
As the cliché goes, it’s not over until it’s over. That’s a very useful mantra to keep in mind when it comes to marriage equality. Last month the D.C. Council voted 12-1 in favor of legislation that would recognize, in the District, marriages by same-sex couples legally entered into in other jurisdictions. This morning the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics will hold a hearing to determine whether Bishop Harry Jackson, a Maryland pastor who has been outspoken in his opposition to marriage equality, can begin gathering signatures in support of a referendum that would ask D.C. voters to reject the legislation recognizing marriages by same-sex couples legally entered into in other jurisdictions. [Link]

Read More »

Celebrating Loving v Virginia

Science Blogs
June 9, 2009
There are events planned all over the country over the next week to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the ruling in Loving v Virginia, which overturned all state laws against interracial marriage. Below, a few words from Mildred Loving on the freedom to marry:
When my late husband, Richard, and I got married in Washington, DC in 1958, it wasn't to make a political statement or start a fight. We were in love, and we wanted to be married. I am still not a political person, but I am proud that Richard's and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness, and the family that so many people, black or white, young or old, gay or straight seek in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. That's what Loving, and loving, are all about.
[Link]

Read More »

« First  <  24 25 26 27 28 >  Last »