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D.C. Court Of Appeals Upholds Same-Sex Marriage Law

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By Patrick Madden

The D.C. Court of Appeals has upheld the city's same-sex marriage law. In a 5 to 4 decision, the court says gay marriage opponents do not have the right to put the issue before voters.

The court concludes the proposed initiative, which would let District residents vote on whether to legalize same-sex marriage, would violate the city's Human Rights Act.

The referendum effort was led by Bishop Harry Jackson, a Beltsville, Maryland pastor who argued the citizens of the District never had a chance to weigh in on the issue.

In an 84-page verdict the court writes, "the board correctly determined that the proposed initiative would have the effect of authorizing such discrimination."

The D.C. Council approved same-sex marriage late last year in an 11 to 2 vote. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty signed the bill into law, and despite the protests of a few conservative lawmakers on Capitol Hill, the measure survived congressional review.

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