Yesterday, the DC Council overwhelmingly approved a bill recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states, by a vote of 12 to 1. It is the latest victory for LGBT rights, coming just days after the state legislatures in New Hampshire and Maine approved gay marriage, after Vermont became the fourth state to make gay marriage legal last month.
Marriage equality in the nation’s capitol, however, is too much for freshman Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), who is refusing to let the issue “go softly into the night”:
“Some things are worth fighting for, and this is one of them,” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz (Utah), the ranking Republican on a House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee that oversees the District. “It’s not something I can let go softly into the night. … I recognize the Democrats are in the majority, but I represent the majority of Americans on this issue.”
The City Desk noted Chaffetz’s Twitter explanation for why he would use Congress to intervene: “Why am I involved? Congress is set up to oversee the affairs of D.C. I am one of the Members of the relevant committee.”
Chaffetz’s disrespect for the District’s citizens by no means a new development. Opposing a bill to give DC residents a voting member in the House, Chaffetz insisted “the best” proposal was simply to give the city to Maryland:
The best alternative is retrocession of residential areas of D.C. back to Maryland, as was done with Arlington, Va. Under this option, D.C. residents would receive not only a vote in the House and two in the Senate, but a state legislature, a governor and many other benefits.
In March, Chaffetz railed, “Keep government limited, keep it out of our way, and empower the American people.” Apparently, he meant to add, “so long as they’re not gay.”
Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) rejected Chaffetz’s blustering. “For this to be overturned, it’d have to pass both houses and be signed by the president, and that’s highly unlikely,” he said.