In December, the Washington, D.C. City Council voted 11 to 2 to legalize same-sex marriage in the District. Mayor Adrian Fenty signed the legislation two days later, saying that “the District, from this day forward, will set the tone for other jurisdictions to follow in creating an open and inclusive city.” But 39 Congressional Republicans do not want D.C. to be an “open and inclusive” example. The Republicans, including House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH), House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), “have filed an amicus brief in D.C. Superior Court calling for a voter referendum on whether to legalize same-sex marriage in the District”:
In the filing, U.S. senators James Inhofe (Okla.) and Roger Wicker (Miss.) and 37 House Republicans align with Bishop Harry Jackson, pastor of Hope Christian Church, in asking the court to reverse a D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics decision prohibiting the same-sex marriage question to be put before voters.
“Under the United States Constitution, they serve as members of the ultimate legislative authority for the District of Columbia and the very body which delegated to the District its limited legislative power under home rule,” the filing states. “As members of the District’s ultimate legislative body, amici are concerned about the extent of the District’s delegated legislative authority, the preservation of Congress’s constitutional authority, and the interpretation of home rule.”
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), who signed the brief and sits on a subcommittee that oversees the District, has vowed to block same-sex partners from having equal marriage rights in the nation’s capital.
In September, City Paper reported that a Human Rights Campaign poll conducted in the spring found “upwards of 65 percent support citywide” for same-sex marriage.