No Ballot Measure to Reverse Marriage Equality in D.C.

Moments ago, the D.C. Superior Court upheld the decision of the D.C.
Board of Elections and Ethics and the right and responsibility of
the D.C. Council to protect the rights of minorities from
discrimination. The court’s decision rejects a proposed ballot
initiative that would have prohibited marriage equality in D.C. The
ruling can be viewed by clicking here.

The lawsuit was filed by several national anti-gay activists and
backed by thirty-nine Republican members of Congress. It sought to
overrule a decision by the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics that
a ballot measure to overturn the marriage equality law recently
passed in D.C. would violate the D.C. Human Rights Act. Under D.C.
law, no ballot initiative may authorize discrimination under the
Human Rights Act, which, among other things, prohibits the
government from denying services or benefits based on an
individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Marriage
equality opponents had argued that D.C.’s human rights
protections dating back to 1979 were invalid. Today, Judge Macaluso
ruled that the D.C. Council acted within its legal authority when
it adopted these vital anti-discrimination provisions and that the
D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics ruled properly that the proposed
initiative to overturn marriage equality in the District would
violate the D.C. Human Rights Act.

The Family
Equality Council
filed an amicus brief in the case as a member
of the Campaign for All D.C. Families, a coalition of D.C.
residents and allied civil rights organizations united in an effort
to win and secure civil marriage equality for all DC residents.

The marriage equality law, passed by the D.C. Council in December,
is expected to go into effect on March 2, following a standard 30
legislative day review period by Congress.