Republicans are considering an attempt to overturn the District of Columbia’s gay marriage law with a federal ban, a GOP congressman revealed.
A week after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear a local legal challenge to D.C.’s recently enacted gay marriage bill, Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) expressed his 100 percent support for a bill to ban gay marriage in the federal district. Jordan, the chairman of the Republican Study Committee, said the committee is considering introducing the legislative bill that would supersede the city’s law.
Jordan told The Hill newspaper, "I think RSC will push for it, and I’m certainly strongly for it. I don’t know if we’ve made a decision, if I’ll do it or let another member do it, but I’m 100 percent for it."
News of a possible federal ban on gay marriage in D.C. have enraged city Democrats, who are offended by the idea that Congress would meddle in local affairs.
“No self-respecting resident of the District of Columbia would ever want to ask the Congress of the United States to overturn local laws, any more than any Baltimorean or Virginian would ask the Congress to overturn local law," said D.C. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D).
Norton and other D.C. officials report that they are planning to meet with congressional members to prevent the bill from being introduced.
On Jan. 18, America’s high court rejected the appeal against D.C. for refusing to put the question of same-sex marriage before the city’s voters.
The D.C. Council approved gay marriage in 2009 despite conservatives’ efforts to issue a stay on the law’s mandate to recognize gay ceremonies. That year, the council also passed a law that recognizes gay marriages performed outside the District.
Jordan led a similar effort for a federal ban on same-sex marriage in the previous Congress, which garnered 53 co-sponsors. It is likely to attract more support in the GOP-led House in 2011.
D.C. is the sixth local government to approve legal marriages for same-sex couples. Other states that legally recognize gay marriages are Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire.