Same-Sex Marriage Ruling is a Victory for All Minority Groups

July 16, 2010

Washington Post editorial

The D.C. Court of Appeals on Thursday provided an important and welcome victory for same-sex marriage. But its decision in Jackson v. D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics is likely to have significance far beyond the realm of gay rights.

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NCLR Applauds District of Columbia Court of Appeals Decision to Uphold Marriage Equality

July 15, 2010

Today, in a 5-4 decision, the  District of Columbia  Court of Appeals – D.C.’s highest court – upheld marriage equality in the District by reaffirming earlier decisions of the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics and the D.C. Superior Court. The appeals court held that the Board was correct to reject repeated petitions by anti-LGBT groups to put marriage equality to a citywide referendum.

In today’s ruling, the District Columbia Court of Appeals unanimously concluded that to put the matter of marriage equality to a vote would have the effect of authorizing discrimination under the Human Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination on the bases of gender and sexual orientation. The majority of the court also agreed with the Board that, under D.C.’s initiative law, such matters cannot be subject to a popular vote.

“We applaud today’s ruling of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals that marriage equality may not be put to a majority vote,” said NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell. “The decision is important for many reasons, but most importantly, it protects families: those loving same-sex couples who wish to marry, and their children.”

NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter added, “The decision is correct as a matter of law, because a ballot measure enshrining discrimination against same-sex couples into law would violate the D.C. Human Rights Act. This decision also respects the structure of city government – the right of the people’s duly elected representatives to enact marriage laws that do not discriminate – and affirms that majorities cannot selectively take away rights from minorities.”

Washington D.C.’s marriage equality law took effect on March 9, 2010 after several attempts to stall its implementation failed in court. NCLR is a member of the Campaign for All D.C. families, a diverse coalition that has long advocated for marriage equality in the District of Columbia, and which filed a friend of the court brief supporting the city in this case.  Covington & Burling LLP represented the Campaign throughout this case.


Court Strikes Challenge to DC Gay Marriage Law

July 15, 2010

from the Associated Press

D.C.’s highest court has ruled against opponents of the city’s same-sex marriage law, saying they cannot ask voters to overturn it.

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‘Wow, What a Long Engagement That Was!’

June 28, 2010

by Ellen McCarthy | Washington Post

The way Henry Schalizki tells it, his second encounter with Bob Davis came in 1945, when his fellow serviceman arrived in Hawaii to entertain the troops with the USO.

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‘I Made Her Talk to Me and Open Up.’

June 11, 2010

by Ellen McCarthy | Washington Post

It was one of those flip, impulsive gestures. Kevia Shepard had worked all day at the Pentagon before rolling down the windows of her Corvette, turning on the radio and driving to Northeast Washington to visit a friend.

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D.C. Court to Hear Gay Marriage Challenge

May 4, 2010

from the Associated Press

The D.C. Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear arguments Tuesday over gay marriage.

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D.C. Marriage Law Survives Senate Vote

March 25, 2010

by Lou Chibbaro Jr. | DC Agenda

The U.S. Senate voted 59-36 early Thursday to block consideration of an amendment that would force the District of Columbia to hold a referendum calling for overturning the city’s same-sex marriage law.

Sen. Robert Bennett (R-Utah) introduced the amendment about 1 a.m. during a marathon Senate session in which Republicans introduced dozens of amendments aimed at derailing a health care reconciliation bill backed by President Obama.

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