Opponents of gay marriage in the
District of Columbia say they'll press on despite a recent Supreme
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court rejected
an appeal from gay marriage foes hoping to put the city's gay
marriage law up for a vote.
The court announced without comment
that it would not hear Bishop Harry Jackson's challenge to a D.C.
Board of Elections and Ethics ruling that said putting the question
of marriage up for a vote would violate the city's Human Rights Act
(HRA) that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation. In
rejecting the referendum, the board said it would, if approved,
authorize “discrimination in contravention of the HRA.”
Opponents had argued that the board
overstepped its authority and that the citizens should have final say
on such matters.
Jackson and his supporters took their
case to the Supreme Court after the D.C. Court of Appeals said that
the board was within the law in making such a decision. Jackson, a
minister at the Hope Christian Church in Belstville, said the court's
split decision (5 to 4) gave him reason to hope.
The National Organization for Marriage
(NOM), the nation's most vociferous opponent of gay marriage, says it
will work with Congress to strike down the law.
"With a pro-marriage majority in
the new Congress we will explore a number of avenues to force the
District to fulfill their constitutional responsibility to voters,”
NOM President Brian Brown said in a statement. “As the four Court
of Appeal justices who dissented in this case made clear, the
District of Columbia owes it to the voters to allow them to decide
the critical issue of marriage which has existed since before there
was a District of Columbia.”
Brown went on to chide lawmakers who
approved the law.
“In order to curry favor with the
same-sex marriage special interest group, members of the City Council
have turned their backs on their own constituents,” he said. “It
is ironic that these same council members champion the right of
District voters to be heard in national elections but then deny those
same residents the right to vote on the definition of marriage. We
will press our belief with Congress that the constitution of the
District requires that voters be allowed to decide this important