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GOP Congress members wade into same-sex marriage debate

Thirty-nine congressional Republicans, including House Minority Leader John Boehner (Ohio) and Minority Whip Eric Cantor (Va.), 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."

The filing comes as Jackson and his attorneys appeared in Superior Court today for a hearing on whether a referendum should be held. In two separate rulings since June, the elections board has stated that a public vote on same-sex marriage would be discriminatory against gay men and lesbians. Jackson is vowing an exhaustive court fight to challenge those decisions.

Last month, the D.C. Council voted 11 to 2 to legalize same-sex marriage in the District. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) signed the bill shortly before Christmas, but it is undergoing a 30-day legislative review. Under Home Rule, Congress can block any law passed by the council.

But same-sex marriage supporters are optimistic that Congress will not intervene because the Democrats control the House and Senate.

Still, the court brief underscores the challenge same-sex marriage supporters face in trying to protect the new law in both the current and future Congresses, particularly if the GOP retakes control.

In addition to the two senators and Boehner and Cantor, the brief was signed by U.S. Reps. Robert Aderholt (Ala.), Todd Akin (Mo.), Michele Bachmann (Minn.), J. Gresham Barrett (S.C.), Roscoe Bartlett (Md.), Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.), John Boozman (Ark.), Jason Chaffetz (Utah), John Fleming (La.), J. Randy Forbes (Va.), Virginia Foxx (N.C.), Scott Garrett (N.J.), Phil Gingrey (Ga.), Louie Gohmert (Tex.), Jeb Hensarling (Tex.), Wally Herger (Calif.), Walter Jones (N.C.), Jim Jordan (Ohio), Steve King (Iowa), Jack Kingston (Ga.), John Kline (Minn.) Doug Lamborn (Colo.), Robert Latta (Ohio), Don Manzullo (Ill.), Michael McCaul (Tex.), Thaddeus McCotter (Mich.), Patrick McHenry (N.C.), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.), Jeff Miller (Fla.), Jerry Moran (Kan.), Randy Neugebauer (Tex.), Mike Pence (Ind.), Joe Pitts (Pa.), Mark Souder (Ind.) and Todd Tiahrt (Kan.)

-- Tim Craig

By Washington Post Editors  |  January 6, 2010; 3:20 PM ET
Categories:  GOP , D.C. Council , Tim Craig , same-sex marriage  
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Comments

"Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four footed beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever, A-men'. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful. proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents."
~ROMANS 1:22-CC / Apostle Paul to the Romans~

Posted by: samxstreampools | January 6, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

samxstreampools -

I don't give one whit if God himself is against gay marriage, it's not up for the state to legislate that away. There's no law that I have to honor the sabbath, or respect my mother and father, so why the push to keep gays from marrying?

(I know, I know, I shouldn't try to reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into. It's a personal failing.)

Posted by: yatesc1 | January 6, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

"If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband's brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband's brother unto her."
--DEUTERONOMY 25:5

and for that matter...

"Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard."
--LEVITICUS 19:27

Posted by: pdxer | January 6, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

I never ceases to amaze me the hubris of the signers of this brief. They say the federal government has too much control, but they want to overturn the decision of our democratically elected council. Got to love full-throated cognitive dissonance.

That being said, I say bring on a referendum. The District's gay community is successful, articulate, and knows how to organize. It would be good for the country to see stand up for our rights. Most of us come from somewhere else in the country. A plebiscite upholding marriage equality in the nation's capitol could have some positive trickle-down effects.

Posted by: DCwriter1 | January 6, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

I was sickened when I got to the comments section. Quoting Bible verses don't fix things; nor do the wanna-be Christians. Encourageing the Government to pass laws which punish people for not obeying God's wishes removes my right to be free from religious persecution. Those are YOUR God's rules, and should never be used as guidelines to deny the rights of others. If these people want to be legally married in a world where taxes/insurance/etc. are based on family structure, we need to look at all families as equal, and leave religious morality to those who CHOOSE it.

Posted by: Mafettig | January 6, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Homophobia is intolerance which brings no benefit. Same-sex marriage is a right which must be availible to LGBT people in every state of the United States. The most intolerant members of Congress are showcasing their nonsense by signing an amicus brief to D.C. Superior Court. A referendum on the right of same-sex marriage would be a gamble on human rights. However, Congress will make sure that the bill Mayor Fenty signed for same-sex marriage will survive. Harry Jackson will be doing a hard planned judicial battle but at least he he will be punishing himself.

Posted by: LibertyForAll | January 6, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

>Same-sex marriage is a right which must be availible to LGBT people in every state of the United States.
-LibertyForAll
----


Sorry, but you are out of luck. In the "MAJORITY" of States, Gay Marriage can never exist because Marriage has been defined as between a Man and Woman.

Sinners will never prevail....

Posted by: AlbyVA | January 6, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

I don't give one whit if God himself is against gay marriage, it's not up for the state to legislate that away.
-yatesc1
===

Guess what? Nothing is being legislated away, because Gay Marriage never existed in the first place. All states are doing is "DEFINING" what Marriage IS. Not denying it.

I'm sorry if you and your homosexuals don't meet that definition. I suggest you move to Canada. Then you can have all the Homosexual Marriage you want.

Posted by: AlbyVA | January 6, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

In reference to some of the comments here, we are NOT a theocracy and have never been a Christian nation. Secondly, what bothers me about a statement toward the end of the article that suggests that gay marriage could go away if the GOP takes charge of the house or senate. Civil rights should not be at the whim of whichever political party is in power and not defined by a simple majority vote of a population. Not only is it disruptive for people who get married and are suddenly not married after all, but it it inherently unconstitutional to deny any minority civil rights because of who they are.

Posted by: walker7 | January 6, 2010 9:15 PM | Report abuse

In reference to some of the comments here, we are NOT a theocracy and have never been a Christian nation. Secondly, what bothers me about a statement toward the end of the article that suggests that gay marriage could go away if the GOP takes charge of the house or senate. Civil rights should not be at the whim of whichever political party is in power and not defined by a simple majority vote of a population. Not only is it disruptive for people who get married and are suddenly not married after all, but it it inherently unconstitutional to deny any minority civil rights because of who they are.

Posted by: walker7 | January 6, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Forget the fact that it's a vote to potentially deny people their equal rights. Forget that. How many of the people filing the amicus brief actually could vote in such a referendum? NONE. Who do they think they are? Do they think they get to speak for everyone? What angers me more than their anti-equality leanings is their meddling. I wish these people would go away and let us run our own affairs.

Posted by: ravensfan20008 | January 6, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

As a native Washingtonian and a registered D.C. voter since 1976, Districts residents should be able to vote on this issue. Liberalism on the D.C. Council has gone too far. This D.C. Council and mayor would allow dogs to marry cats. That's just how liberal these idiots are at the Wilson Building. I am neither conservative or liberal.

Blue Dog Democrat
Ward 4 Resident
Washington, D.C. Registered Voter

Posted by: Ward4DC | January 7, 2010 12:05 AM | Report abuse

How are gay white males a minority? They are still white and of the dominate race that's considered superior. When gay white men stop practicing racism against black and other non gays and be more inclusive of them, maybe I would be supportive of their cause. Many white gay males will not date black gay males, because they consider black gay men to be ugly, apes, or less than human.

Posted by: Ward4DC | January 7, 2010 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Correction:

How are gay white males a minority? They are still white and of the dominate race that's considered superior. When gay white men stop practicing racism against black and other non white gays and be more inclusive of them, maybe I would be supportive of their cause. White men will accept white or light skin Latinos befroe they will gay black men. Most Latinos consider themselves white, not colored, Brown, Negro, or mulatto. Many white gay males will not date black gay males, because they consider black gay men to be ugly, apes, or less than human.

Posted by: Ward4DC | January 7, 2010 12:11 AM | Report abuse

DCwriter1 wrote:I never ceases to amaze me the hubris of the signers of this brief. They say the federal government has too much control, but they want to overturn the decision of our democratically elected council. Got to love full-throated cognitive dissonance.

That being said, I say bring on a referendum. The District's gay community is successful, articulate, and knows how to organize. It would be good for the country to see stand up for our rights. Most of us come from somewhere else in the country. A plebiscite upholding marriage equality in the nation's capitol could have some positive trickle-down effects.

DCwriter1, you are correct, the majority of white gay males in D.C. are from mostly small towns in middle America where blacks are seen as been inferior by your relatives and parents. Why not go back to your hometowns and demand to marry the same sex? There are tensions between white gay males and native Washingtonians. What I foresee is white gays rising up and taking to the streets with violence and the black thugs will rise up too. I wonder who will win this battle? Many black hoodlums, drug dealers, and others don't like the homosexual lifestyle being thrown in their faces. Many whites, Mexicans, Middle Easterners, Muslims, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Salvadorans, Colombians, Panamainians, Nigerians, Ugandans, and West Indians don't accept gay marriage either. You see, it's not just blacks who don't approve of gay marriage.

Posted by: Ward4DC | January 7, 2010 12:19 AM | Report abuse

"Abiding in the midst of ignorance, thinking themselves wise and learned, fools go aimlessly hither and thither, like blind led by the blind." Katha Upanishad.

As a 20+ year DC tax paying Gay male resident I have zero issues with those of strong faith and religious beliefs, but I ask those who fall into this category to remember that our great country was founded by people fleeing religious persecution and that our government was built under the guise of total separation of church and state.

The gay community is not waging a war against any religion, belief system or the institution of marriage, we're simply demanding what any minority group that's being singled out demands: equal rights.

Other counties who have passed same-sex marriage have not fallen into chaos or seen the total destruction of the institution of marriage or traditional family values. In fact they benefit from the economic stimulus gained from revenue, job creation, and taxes that this new industry generates.

If you're against equal rights for all due to your personal religious beliefs then you're simply Un-American based on why and how this country was founded.

Posted by: Tuffie1220 | January 7, 2010 5:54 AM | Report abuse

I'm a church-going Catholic and I support gay marriage. To me, it's about justice and equality; that trumps everthing else.

This is a huge country. If DC's gay marriage law upsets you, move to Montana.

Let's reserve our hatred and intolerance for those who truly deserve it; Self-Hating Closeted Homosexual Preachers.

Yes, I mean you, Harry Jackson!

Posted by: IHeartDC | January 7, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

@ Ward4DC

Violence is the last thing I expect at a gay rights rally. I've been to plenty in my life and have seen nothing but the LGBT community, their families, and their supporters demanding equality. I don't feel a self-destructive impulse in the community to torch our own homes and businesses just to make a point.

In regards to race, sounds like you've had some bad experiences. I'm sorry to hear that. I'm white and have dated outside my race. That's my preference. Some people don't, that's theirs. Doesn't mean they believe that blacks are "less than human."

@ Tuffle1220 "If you're against equal rights for all due to your personal religious beliefs then you're simply Un-American based on why and how this country was founded."

- Right On!

Posted by: DCwriter1 | January 7, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

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