By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Proponents of traditional marriage are vowing to continue the fight for the right to vote on same-sex marriage after a sharply divided D.C. Court of Appeals decided that because the traditional concept of marriage between one man and one woman is discriminatory, citizens should not have an opportunity to vote on the matter.
According to the Family Research Council (FRC), in a 5-4 ruling that was based more on legal details than the merits of the case, the majority found that “because appellants’ proposed initiative would authorize, or have the effect of authorizing, discrimination on the basis prohibited by the Human Rights Act, it was not a proper subject of initiative.”
The Court’s decision prevents a vote that could have overturned a law imposed by the D.C. City Council last year that allows same-sex “marriage” in the District.
” . . . (T)he bottom line is that in the nation’s capital, like so many other places, a small group of judicial activists has read into the Constitution (or in this case, the District’s Charter) things that are not there in order to achieve their desired policy outcome,” said FRC president Tony Perkins.
The issue is far from settled, however. Christians and conservative groups in Washington are determined to take the gay marriage issue to the U.S. Supreme Court where the door has been left open by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.
“…[P]etitioners will have the right to challenge any adverse decision through a petition of certiorari in this Court at the appropriate time,” Chief Justice Roberts said after denying a request for an injunction in March of this year when the law, which was passed by went into effect.
Allowing voters to decide on the issue may result in overturning the law. Thus far, voters in 30 states have had the opportunity to vote on the issue, and all have upheld marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
“In America, we respect the right to vote,” said Austin R. Nimocks, senior legal counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian legal organization that is leading the fight for a referendum. “The citizens of the District of Columbia should not have their voices suppressed by the government, but that is exactly what is happening here.”
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