Same-Sex Marriage Wins Victory in DC

Election board rules referendum on gay marriage can't be held
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2009 4:09 AM CDT
Residents protest the District of Columbia city council's approval of legislation recognizing same sex marriages performed in other states.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)
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(Newser) – Opponents of gay marriage in Washington DC have been handed a major setback by the District's board of elections, the Washington Post reports. The board blocked a proposal to hold a referendum on recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions. The ruling means that only a court will be able to stop such unions being recognized in Washington beginning next month.

The board decided that holding a referendum on same-sex marriage "authorizes discrimination," in violation of human rights law. The District's council is expected to vote for a bill that will allow same-sex couples to marry in the city later this year. Opponents of gay marriage blasted the decision as an "insult' that denies citizens their right to vote. They plan to appeal.