D.C. same-sex marriage law survives Supreme Court challenge

Without comment, the Supreme Court this morning turned down a challenge to D.C.'s same-sex marriage law. The petition in the case of Jackson v. D.C. Board of Elections was aimed at reviving a proposed ballot initiative that would have asked D.C. voters to define marriage as between a man and a woman. Last year the D.C. City Council approved same-sex marriages, the sixth jurisdiction in the nation to do so.

A Maryland pastor, Bishop Harry Jackson, was behind the ballot initiative, which the Board of Elections refused to put on the ballot because approval of the measure would violate the city's human rights law. The D.C. Court of Appeals upheld the city's actions in a decision that Jackson appealed to the high court.

"Today's action by the Supreme Court makes abundantly clear that D.C.'s human rights protections are strong enough to withstand the hateful efforts of outside anti-LGBT groups to put people's basic civil rights on the ballot," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. "The D.C. Council and Mayor courageously made marriage equality a reality last year, and the courts have since upheld the rights of D.C. residents to govern ourselves and take the necessary steps to eliminate discrimination in our community."

(Published by BLT - January 18, 2011)

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