The National Organization for Marriage
(NOM), the nation's most vociferous opponent of gay marriage, has
vowed to overturn a gay marriage bill approved Tuesday by District of
In an 11 to 2 vote, city leaders agreed
to approve Council member David Catania's gay marriage bill.
Catania, an Independent, is one of two openly gay members on the
Brian Brown, executive director of NOM,
said his group would join Stand4MarriageDC.com, the District's
loudest opponent of the bill, in urging for Congress to take action
against the bill.
“We have one message for David
Catania and the rest of these politicians today: this fight is not
over,” Brian Brown, executive director of NOM, said in a statement.
“We will go to Congress, we will go to the courts, we will fight
for the people's right to vote and we will win!”
Bishop Harry Jackson, a minister at the
Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, Maryland, founded
Stand4MarriageDC.com after councilors approved a gay
marriage-recognition bill in the spring. The bill was approved by
Mayor Adrian Fenty, a Democrat, and Congress, which has final say on
the laws approved in the District, did not interfere. Under the law,
the District recognizes the marriages of gay and lesbian couples who
have married in a state that has legalized the institution, including
nearby Connecticut, Vermont, Massachusetts and, beginning January 1,
Lawmakers took a measured approach to
the issue essentially to gauge Congress' reaction on the issue before moving ahead with legalizing gay nuptials in the District.
But after final passage of the gay
marriage bill at least one lawmaker, Utah Representative Jason
Chaffetz, a Republican, said he's prepared to introduce a resolution
to block the bill from becoming law.
“It's going to be exceptionally
difficult because Democrats have us outnumbered by large amounts,”
Chaffetz told the Salt Lake Tribune. “Nevertheless, we're
going to try.”
Opponents have also sued to overturn a
D.C. Ethics Board ruling that rejected an effort to put gay marriage
up for a vote. The panel unanimously agreed that such a measure
would violate the city's Human Rights Act that prohibits
discrimination based on sexual orientation.
“The people of D.C. have a right,
guaranteed by the charter, which is D.C.'s constitution, to vote to
protect marriage,” Brown said. “Politicians on the city council
are acting as if they have the right through legislation to deprive
citizens of D.C. of their core civil right to vote, but we will not
let them get away with it.”