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03/02/2010

The Supreme Court...

by Jeremy Hooper

...has declined the organized anti-gays' attempt to stop marriage equality in D.C:

Roberts denies stay of District's same-sex marriage law [WaPo]

Congratulations, D.C.

Get a new hobby, Bishop Harry Jackson.

***

MORE: Law Dork has more on this, as well as the limited legal options that the far-right has left: To the Highest Court: Anything to Stop Marriage [Law Dork]

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Your thoughts

I am from Oregon and although it wont impact me, I shout out YIPPIE!

Posted by: Michaelmike | Mar 2, 2010 5:37:41 PM

Holy Crap! I'm speechless.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Mar 2, 2010 5:43:41 PM

I'm glad our Supreme Court did not allow the radical anti-gay activists to impose their "religious beliefs" on the citizens of DC. Congratulations, DC!

Posted by: Michael | Mar 2, 2010 6:51:49 PM

I'm looking forward to tell Jan Brown, Governor of Arizona that with marriage equality in DC, my juicy taxbase is moving, never to return :)

Posted by: DN | Mar 2, 2010 10:17:14 PM

@ DN, why move to DC? Why not Iowa?! ;o)

Posted by: Wade MacMorrighan | Mar 2, 2010 11:16:22 PM

Our seven year old has picked up on the news already and is asking when my partner and I are going downtown to get married. Jeez, forget the pressure from my parents ...

The legal battle isn't quite over yet. Even apart from ADF's just-filed section 1983 suit in federal district court (which seems like a loser), there is a second ADF lawsuit that has been pending in the D.C. Court of Appeals (D.C.'s equivalent of a state supreme court) and which will be briefed and argued by summer time. D.C. law has separate "referendum" and "initiative" processes. "Referendum" refers to suspending a law passed by the City Council until the voters get a chance to ratify it. "Initiative" is a process that allows voters to propose a brand-new law. The bad guys here filed separate petitions for each process -- a petition for a referendum to stop the Council's marriage equality law, and a petition for an initiative proposing a new law that would limit marriage to opposite-sex couples.

This round was about the request for a referendum. But ADF's case appealing the Board of Election's denial of the petition for the initiative is still pending. Justice Roberts denied ADF's emergency petition to block the marriage equality law precisely because this other lawsuit is still pending, meaning that ADF still has the chance to make all of its legal arguments in court, and if they win that lawsuit, they'll still get their (claimed) right to have a vote -- in other words, they're not harmed by having to wait a little bit.

The upshot is that it's not completely settled yet. And ADF has refined its argument a little bit in that second lawsuit. Before they were just saying that the Board of Elections erred in determining that the petition would result in discrimination and therefore wasn't a proper subject for initiative or referendum. Now they're attacking the underlying election law, saying that where Congress provided for a wide-open initiative and referendum process in D.C., the city council didn't have the power to carve out discriminatory initiatives from that process on its own. That's a tougher argument (even Justice Roberts noted it was plausible in his opinion denying the stay), though I think it's still beatable.

I don't mean to be a downer. I just wanted to fill out the story a little bit because the saga isn't over, and it is theoretically possible that there could be an initiative at some point in the future.

And normally I would say that DN shouldn't choose Iowa over D.C. because midwestern winters suck, but this year's winter here has been abominable.

Posted by: Jon F | Mar 3, 2010 10:12:43 AM

Thanks, Jon F.
So scary and outrageous all this demanding to vote on the civil rights of a MINORITY.

That's the point: a popular vote could only have a singular outcome. And the POINT of that outcome is discrimination.
If anything SCOTUS, if the Prop. 8 decision goes up the chain, this should also be about a majority exacting a tyrannical purpose to this popular vote.

The direct affect to gay people is acute, empirical and undeniable.
There IS no (especially negative) affect on marriage, on married heterosexuals, or the outcomes for gay OR straight people when gay people actually get married.
The opposition has NEVER proven in court the negative outcomes that persuade voters, if not judges. Nor that discrimination towards gay couples protects the integrity of marriage FOR heterosexuals, their children and families.

So the point of discrimination in the first place is rather pointless and an exercise in continuing NEGATIVE circumstances for ONLY gay people, rather than a PRO MARRIAGE justification.
Which IS the point of the opposition pushing so hard for popular voting.
WE know that.

Are'nt judges obligated to perhaps hinge their decision on the Constitutional amendment protecting a minority like gay citizens FROM such a majority and their real agenda?

Posted by: Regan DuCasse | Mar 3, 2010 11:33:33 AM

I totally have nothing against Iowa - Blue Bunny ice cream comes from there! =D

But the reason I'm so excited about DC is because four years ago, my company moved to Phoenix, and as an immigrant, I had to move here or leave the country. It's just that I'd never have left DC if it weren't for our non gay-accomodating immigration laws.

Posted by: DN | Mar 3, 2010 8:06:16 PM

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