D.C. Superior Court Rules Against Same-Sex Marriage Referendum
D.C. Superior Court Judge Judith Retchin ruled today that there will not be a voter referendum held on legislation recently passed by the D.C. Council recognizing gay marriages performed in other jurisdictions.
A group of ministers who oppose the legislation had asked the court to overrule the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics and force a referendum on the bill. The leader of the group, Bishop Harry Jackson of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, Md., told radio station WTOP that the ministers will now try to get a voter initiative on the 2010 ballot that would define marriage in the nation's capital as between a man and a woman.
The legislation, passed by the D.C. Council May 5, was introduced by Councilmember Phil Mendelson (D-at large). But fellow councilmember, lawyer David Catania (I-at large), is credited with taking the measure a step further. The original legislation would've recognized same-sex couples married elsewhere as domestic partners in the District. Catania convinced the council to change the bill so that those couples would be recognized as married.
Both Mendelson and Catania were recognized for their efforts in a special issue of The National Law Journal.