Tuesday, January 18, 2011

D.C. Same-Sex Marriage Law Survives Supreme Court Challenge

Speaking of Home Rule, the U.S. Supreme Court this morning denied review of a challenge to D.C.'s same-sex marriage law.  The petition in the case of Jackson v. D.C. Board of Elections was aimed at reviving a proposed ballot initiative that would have asked D.C. voters to define marriage as between a man and a woman.  Last year the D.C. City Council approved same-sex marriages, the sixth jurisdiction in the nation to do so.  More on the Blog of the Legal Times. 

Early on, I had requested an investigation of Reverend Jackson's standing to seek a referendum on marriage in the District.  Reverend Jackson, who owns two homes in Maryland, is pastor of a 3,000 member Maryland church, founder of a nonprofit organization incorporated and located in Maryland, and is a registered Maryland voter, registered to vote for the District of Columbia on April 22, 2009, claiming as his residence a condominium near the Washington Convention Center.  After “residing” in the District just six days over the minimum thirty days mandated by law, Reverend Jackson filed a petition with the Board as the primary “proposer” of a referendum on the recognition of same-sex marriage in the District on May 27, 2009.  As the investigation began, Rev. Jackson subsequently claimed that he moved to an apartment near the ballpark.

The U.S. Supreme Court's denial of certiorari closes this attempt to thwart Home Rule.

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