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Utah senator again tries to block D.C. same-sex marriage

The District's new same-sex marriage law could become entangled, at least briefly, in the U.S. Senate debate over changes to the health care reform act that President Obama signed into law Tuesday.

Sen. Bob Bennett (R-Utah) has introduced an amendment that would suspend the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples until the issue could be put before voters.

Bennett is emerging as the most stalwart congressional opponent to same-sex marriage in the District. Earlier this month, he sought to attach a similar amendment to a Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization bill. But that amendment was ruled out of order.

Bennett's latest attempt to force a referendum on the city's same-sex marriage law, which went into effect March. 3, has the support of GOP Sens. Roger Wicker (Miss), Pat Roberts (Kansas), Orrin Hatch (Utah), James M. Inhofe (Ok), and John Cornyn (Texas), according to the DCist blog.

But Senate Democrats, who are trying to keep all GOP amendments off the reconciliation bill, are widely expected to kill Bennett's amendment, which was first reported by the New York Times.

Still, Bennett's determination to force a public vote on same-sex marriage in the District has caught the attention of District leaders.

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D), the District's non-voting representative in the House of Representatives, has stated she will have to remain on "daily vigil" to guard against congressional intervention over the issue.

"No sooner had we finished celebrating our new marriage equality law than the Bennett amendment became the first of counter attacks I expect all session," Norton said in a statement after Bennett unsuccessfully pushed for his amendment earlier this month. "But I abide no pessimism about turning them back. I will continue to work with our friends in the Senate, where the attacks are likely to come most frequently."

--Tim Craig

By Tim Craig  |  March 24, 2010; 12:18 PM ET
Categories:  Tim Craig  
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Go back to Utah you BIGOT! Stay OUT of our business! In fact, ALL of you that are not from here, need to keep your dirty bigoted noses OUT of our local politics.

Posted by: KJ71 | March 24, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Did anybody ask for his "help"?

Posted by: Raiche58 | March 24, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

No matter what Senator "Moron" and his cohorts believe, all of our citizens should enjoy equal rights under the law! I'd think he'd be more concerned about all of the polygamists in his own state! I guess old geezers taking multiple wives, some of whom are young enough to be their daughters and grand daughters, doesn't bother him!!

Posted by: lsf07 | March 24, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

hahahahahaha to the gays!

Posted by: rockettonu | March 24, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the DC Council can pass a law banning poligamy but only in the state of Utah. Oh wait, that's right. Poligamy is a federal crime yet it's not enforced in Utah. How convenient for Mr. Bennett.

Bennett is proof that if a plant ran as a Mormon GOP candidate in Utah that it would win. Bennett's one of the Senate's dimmest bulbs (which is really saying something), and he's constantly antagonizing DC's initiatives.

Seriously, why do all these GOP Senators treat the District, which NONE of them seem to live in, like it's their own petri dish?


Posted by: nwrepresent1 | March 24, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

When do I get to vote on removing the voting rights of old, white bigots??

Posted by: bgd1964 | March 24, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

I want to kick this inbred Utah whitey's a___! And I'm white! Hey jerk, give me my freakin federal taxes back or stay out of DC's business!

Posted by: johng1 | March 24, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Roger Wicker (Miss), Pat Roberts (Kansas), Orrin Hatch (Utah), James M. Inhofe (Ok), and John Cornyn (Texas), according to the DCist blog., I will wipe the floor with you mfs! White racist bigot mfs!

Posted by: johng1 | March 24, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

You sobs give me all my taxes back! Asswipes!

Posted by: johng1 | March 24, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

What is it with all these horrible, ugly people in the GOP drawing government paychecks?

Posted by: hitpoints | March 24, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

This doddering old scumbag is facing a primary challenge so he's trying to prove that he's a good ol' teabagging conservative.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | March 24, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

"What is it with all these horrible, ugly people in the GOP drawing government paychecks?"

Your fellow citizens keep electing troglodytes like Sen. Bennet to public office. Unfortunately, if you believe current polling data Republicans are apparently being rewarded for their obstructionism.

According Charlie Cook's website (a leading political pollster the Republicans will come very close to recapturing the House and probably gain 7 Senate seats next November.

So the problem is with your uninformed gullible fellow citizens who fall for the Republican lies, misinformation, and fear mongering and elect politicians like Sen. Bennet to public office.

For the most part, Americans are very ignorant about most public policy issues and haven't any clue how their government works. Most can't name their Congressman or Senator and don't know what the Bill of Rights is.

The Republicans take advantage of this ignorance as well as very skillfully exploiting the so called wedge issues like abortion, gun rights, gay marriage, and the like to get elected.

Posted by: montana123 | March 24, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

So what has Senator Bennett done about the many polygamists in Utah and northern Arizona? NOTHING.

When someone spends so much time and effort banning same-sex marriage the only thing that sticks out is CLOSET CASE.

Posted by: homer4 | March 24, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

If history teaches us anything, it's that the harder a politician fights gay rights, the gayer he actually is deep down.

Posted by: VirginiaDad | March 24, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

At least somebody in the Senate has some sanity. Marriage should be restricted to the union of a man and a woman.

The DC law will fall, like it has fallen everywhere else. It's just a matter of time.

Posted by: JoStalin | March 24, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

what a hypocrate. the guy wants the people of DC to get a headcount vote on gay rights, but not voting representation in congress.
for the record, the people of DC have voted for gay marriage. the DC council is a democratically elected body.
you would think a US Senator would get the concept of having elected officials craft legislation.
Does he want to dismiss congress and just have all americans vote on each bill?

Posted by: MarilynManson | March 24, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Anyone know if the DC code allows for referendums that would allow DC not to recognize marriages or any other unions from states with bigot representatives? We could pass a law that says DC wont recognize anyone from these places. I think we should pass a bigot tax--- all stores would ask for ID and those from places like, say, UTAH would have to pay a $20.00 fee that would go to the general fund----

Posted by: Aimhigh2000 | March 24, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

I have to agree with VirginiaDad.

No one cares as much about gay rights as gay people and people who can't deal with the fact that they're gay.

Posted by: gettingdizzy1 | March 24, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Enough. Go back to Utah. Mind your own simple-minded business.

Posted by: jckdoors | March 24, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

It is insulting that members of the senate are saying that our elected officials do not get to make our laws....however, I say bring on your referendum. I have faith in the citizens of DC and that they will do the right thing and eliminate discrimination.

Posted by: L334 | March 24, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Simply put:

"The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise."

Pay attention & take heed, because it's the fool who has said in his heart that there is no God...where are you??

Posted by: newbirth1 | March 24, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Does anybody seriously think that the residents of D.C. (something like 80 percent Democrat or more liberal, right?) would vote against marriage equality? Sen. Dimwit, do you really want to let its repeal depend on a public vote? OK, go ahead. Make my day.


Posted by: BugsyRIP | March 24, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

God is dead, decomposed and washed away foolish newbirth

Posted by: johng1 | March 24, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Darn, lightning just struck my car! Just f-ing with you afterbirth. I'm still here!

Posted by: johng1 | March 24, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

So keep your god-stuff out of this arena!

Posted by: johng1 | March 24, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

The Senator from Utah opposes the health care reform because, inter alia, it infringes unnecessarily upon individual liberties (in his opinion). Yet, he is attempting to force an amendment upon the citizens of the District through a forum in which they have no voice.

How might one reconcile these two seemingly opposing actions?

Methinks it boils down to good, old-fashioned prejudice. The Senator and those in support of his position oppose the so-called "negative" impact on society that comes from two consenting adults making a legally binding commitment to one another, yet they are not able to articulate what that harm is.

The fine state of Utah was admitted to the Union only after it reluctantly outlawed polygamy - a practice developed by the Senator's own church. Unlike same-sex marriages, there is a great deal of support for the notion that polygamy has a negative impact on those involved. Take a look at the Salt Lake Tribune - they have A REGULAR POLYGAMY NEWS SECTION. In that publication we can how that practice harms society in a very practical and current way. Does the Senator have any such evidence for what is happening in the District?

So much for consistency in the political actions of Senator Bennett. Perhaps we should have a referendum to determine if the Mormon practice of "proxy marriage" (namely marrying off people even in death) should be outlawed......

Posted by: demostheneswashdc | March 24, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

For the most part, Mormons are the nicest, stupidest people on earth.

Posted by: kenk3 | March 24, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Why must we put civil rights and equality to a vote especially if the law in question applies to a minority. Why must everyone in DC decide on my rights. Don't these people get it?

Posted by: casadeshadow | March 24, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Look, I don't care what types of crazy secret rituals whities from Utah practice. They can dance in a circle with their fingers up each others a___es, marry a hundred women, and baptize dead bodies for all I care. I don't give a flying whatever what laws you freaks abide by and enact.

Just stay clear of the District and stop telling us how we should conduct ourselves!

Posted by: johng1 | March 24, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

I'll make you a deal, Senator. When you allow Washington to get full voting representation in Congress, then we'll consider your amendment. Until you keep us as second-class citizens, though, don't take it personally if we spit on your amendment. Or do. I care THIS MUCH.

Posted by: ravensfan20008 | March 24, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

JoStalin: What are you talking about?

Here's your quote: "At least somebody in the Senate has some sanity. Marriage should be restricted to the union of a man and a woman.

The DC law will fall, like it has fallen everywhere else...."

Posted by: JoStalin | March 24, 2010 3:41 PM

There's been no motion or attempt or movement toward overturning the Vermont law allowing same-sex marriage. There's been no effort to overturn it in Conn. There's been no effort to overturn it in NH. Or Canada. Or the numerous European countries that permit it.

What are you talking about?

Posted by: smckel | March 24, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Conservatism 101:

You can have as many guns as you want but you can't marry someone of the same sex.

Posted by: montana123 | March 24, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Think about it: Utah is a huge desert state that has only about 2.7M people. The freaky culturally deficient state of Utah has a people density like a desert with an occasional gopher hole representing one person. And that one person has pudding for brains!

DC, on the other hand, is a rather small city, but has a population pushing 700K. This is a gigantic population density compared with Utah, is rich with culture, and has an average intelligence level that blows Utah out of the water!

They want to control us?!? This picture is so wrong.

Posted by: johng1 | March 24, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Tell Senator Bennett what you think of Republicans, and in particular, Bennett himself.

Call Bennett at 202-224-5444.

Posted by: nathanielbarton | March 24, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Hope Senator Bennett succeeds, it should be put to a vote by DC residents. If it were anything else the gay community would want to vote on it. Let's use the same enegry to gain full representation in Congress.

Posted by: amazing2read | March 24, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: nivla | March 24, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Personal attacks are the lowest form of argument, and are used as a diversion by individuals whose factual arguments fail them. Many of the comments on this article fall into this category, especially those of johng1. I'm wondering if the user name stands for Going to the John #1; more appropriate would be johng2, because most of his output is pure CRAP.

Posted by: uvbogden | March 24, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

UVboghead: What? Nanny anny boo boo to yyou too!

I thought Johng1 are on point: It's sort of live and let live. I think you heard about that in kindegarden, and I'm not just trying to talk down to you. Really.

It's just not fair. Saraha Palin's husband is right-cessession is the answer.

DC, PG, Montgomery Co, Arlington, Alexandria and Fairfax should be one new state, with Representation, with our own State and Fed tax dollars to waste as we see fit. And the ability to tell everone to go to Heck. Nicely.

Guess where I live?

Posted by: RogerRamjet2 | March 24, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Thanks RogerRamjet2. Religion injected into political discourse will not be tolerated. I get upset when I see that. I also do not like a congressman from some backwater district in UTAH!!! directing the affairs of citizens of the D of C. It is preposterous!

Posted by: johng1 | March 24, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

One more point uvbogden. How would you like it if someone from some far away district as alien as a Jovian moonbat were controlling your local laws. How would you like it if you paid about 20k in federal taxes year after year and you had no voting congressman to represent you? Yeah, I thought so.

Posted by: johng1 | March 24, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Homophobia is intolerance which brings no benefit. Same-sex marriage is a right which must be accessible to all LGBT people in every state of the United States. John Coryn, Pat Roberts, Roger Wickner, James Inhofe, Orrin Hatch and Bob Bennett are the worst members of Congress for using their intolerant ideology of social conservatism to stop Washington, D.C. from recognizing same-sex marriage. A referendum on that right would be a gamble on human rights. However, Democrats in Congress are going to do good by making sure intolerant amendments are abandoned. Eleanor Holmes Norton is doing a good thing by being viligant against social conservatives in Congress.

Posted by: LibertyForAll | March 24, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Silencing the voters on this issue is completely reprehensible and totally outrageous. The voters od DC were illegally denied their right to put this on the ballot! The DC Charter allows the voters to do this, but their rights were made subject to two individuals - the unelected board of elections - that decided political correctness was more important than voter rights. I fully expect the courts to rule that the voters right to vote on ANY issue (aside from appropriations issues as specified in the Charter) were violated and that they WILL be allowed to vote on this issue. I'm totally fed up with political correctness trumping voter rights! This has GOT TO STOP!

I hope the voters of DC will remember this in November and elect representatives who will actually represent the people who elected them rather than ignoring their clearly stated wishes. In case it isn't clear, the majority of voters in DC want to vote on this issue. I guess the Council took their lead from our current Congress, though. Let's hope the voters will vote them out the same way we will Congressional Democrats.

Posted by: klgrube | March 24, 2010 11:15 PM | Report abuse

klgrube: "Silencing the voters on this issue is completely reprehensible and totally outrageous. The voters od DC were illegally denied their right to put this on the ballot! "

Good point. Let's put legal recognition of interracial marriages on the ballot too. And was it really such a good idea to allow women and nonwhites to vote?

Posted by: cleosmom12749 | March 25, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

I'm from Utah, and I have always thought Bennett is an idiot (along with Hatch). I keep trying to convince people to vote against these two bigoted idiots cause they sure don't represent my voice. Plus, it actually irritates me to where I have called as a constituent to say that I want my senators being involved with my, and their, own state's issues, not DC's.

Posted by: yamipirogoeth | March 25, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

The people of Utah are not exactly thrilled about Bennett either. The probability of him being removed is starting to grow. As a Utahan, you have my sincerest of apologies for the people of my state voting in the same idiots year after year.

We're working hard to get him and Chaffetz out of DC. Hatch is next on our list. Don't generalize all of us in Utah as bigots. We are not represented equally because of the religious influence on the state. Salt Lake is actually rather Liberal, we just get drowned out by almost every other county in the state.

Posted by: exquisiterage | March 25, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

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