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D.C. Court of Appeals hears arguments for and against same-sex marriage

Lawyers for and against same-sex marriage in the District outlined their arguments Tuesday before the nine D.C. Court of Appeals judges in one of the latest efforts surrounding same-sex marriages being performed in the District. It was one of the first times all nine judges sat for an initial argument.

Lawyers arguing against allowing the marriages argued that D.C. voters should have been allowed to vote on the issue. Attorneys for the District, however, argued that D.C. Council acted within District laws in voting on and eventually passing the legislation.

The appeal was filed by Bishop Harry Jackson, the pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, who sued after the Board of Elections and Ethics refused to approve a ballot initiative. The board argued that an initiative would violate the city's Human Rights Act. In January, a D.C. Superior Court judge upheld the board's decision.

Several dozen supporters of Jackson's bid dressed in white and held a rally after the hearing in support of marriages between a man and a woman. Several supporters of same-sex marriage also attended the hearing wearing T-shirts reading "I Do."

About 1,400 same-sex couples have applied for marriages since the ceremonies were legalized March 3, according to a court official.

The judges could file their decision as early as mid-summer, officials estimate.

-- Keith L. Alexander

By Terri Rupar  |  May 4, 2010; 8:04 PM ET
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Remember that cry baby attitude about the licence plate motto; No taxation without representation. Now they play the same dirty trick for the down low preventing the citizens of DC from voting. What it amounts to is they are holding the city hostage for their own agenda.

Posted by: freeparking | May 4, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Freeparking, that comment is so ignorant, I don't know where to start.

How about... We live in a representative democracy, and the Council Members and the Mayor WE ELECTED completed this legislation. AND further, the Human Rights Act, which has prevented putting this civil rights issue to a vote, was OVERWHELMINGLY approved by the District voters. So, the voters have had their say.

If you don't like it, vote the Council out and repeal the Human Rights Act, as ill-conceived a notion as that is. However, don't hold your breath. Most of the District supported the legislation and is happy with it.

Posted by: redgrifn | May 4, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Marion Barry, the "mayor for life" (never did understand that!) voted against same-sex marriage. Hmmm...he's been married 3 times and divorced twice...possible will be divorced a 3rd time. Makes one wonder why he thinks the "sanctity" of marriage is threatened by gays getting married.

Posted by: DecafDrinker | May 4, 2010 9:26 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. The government of Washington, D.C. has done the correct thing by prohibiting a referendum on that right because if same-sex marriage were to voted upon, that would be a gamble on human rights. It's good that there were people outside court wore shirts which said "I Do" in support of that right.

Posted by: LibertyForAll | May 4, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

"The appeal was filed by Bishop Harry Jackson, the pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, who sued after the Board of Elections and Ethics refused to approve a ballot initiative."
Does Jackass...I mean "Bishop Jackson" in DC or MD? If he doesn't live in DC, why is he filing a lawsuit? Seems to me it should just be thrown out if he doesn't reside in DC. I live in MD and wouldn't presume to file a lawsuit against political actions in DC, VA, DE., etc.

Posted by: DecafDrinker | May 4, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

The gates are open and more honies of the female persuasion for me and my 3 sons.
Thank You DC City Council, yaw'll cool with us lovers of the women hetero.
I am all hands on deck with this wave.

Posted by: foxxmacpryor | May 5, 2010 6:34 AM | Report abuse

jackson is wrong on so many levels.
does he want every law or rule passed by the dc council to be put up for a DC wide vote?
if so, there wouldn't be a point in having a council.
just because he doesn't like this one particular law (passed in a different jurisdiction from where he lives and works) doesn't give him the right to try to change the whole legislative system.
who elected him?
if he has all this money so he can file frivolous lawsuits and waste taxpayer money to respond to his nonsense, DC needs to stop giving religious groups in general tax exempt status.
they are becoming too big a burden on our resources.
why should i have to pay extra taxes so church groups have the time and money to push their political agendas?

Posted by: MarilynManson | May 5, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

I wonder how he would have felt if we had put interracial marriage up for a general vote in Virginia in 1967?

Posted by: Anglo_Rider | May 5, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Somebody please explain to me how Harry Jackson has legal standing to bring this suit in the first place. I don't know anybody who believes he is a legal resident of Washington, DC. He is almost certainly committing fraud by registering to vote in DC while continuing to live with his family in Maryland.

Posted by: MrDarwin | May 5, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

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