House Republicans moving to abolish District of Columbia’s same-sex marriage law
Friday, April 01, 2011 at 11:33 am
Congress.org reported earlier this week that U.S. House Republicans are once again planning to meddle with the laws mandated by the District of Columbia’s own city government.
In this latest instance, the GOP, eschewing their previously-stated concerns for job creation, is pressing to overturn the District’s year-old same-sex marriage law the U.S. Supreme Court even said was a local issue it would not touch.
Jim Jordan, chairman of the 176-member Republican Study Committee, is leading an effort by conservatives to press House leaders for floor votes in opposition to gay marriage.
Jordan’s first project is a draft proposal that would set up a referendum to overturn a year-old District of Columbia law recognizing marriages of gay and lesbian couples. The move comes as conservatives express a desire to move beyond a focus on spending cuts and expand the House majority’s legislative agenda to include social issues.
The Supreme Court declined in January to take up a case aimed at clearing the way for a referendum to ban gay marriage in the nation’s capital. City officials have blocked the referendum on the grounds that it would violate a city human rights law.
Jordan said he expects the draft measure to draw strong support from House Republicans. He and other conservatives say they are weighing how best to promote the vote as an example of Republicans fulfilling a campaign promise. The GOP’s 2010 Pledge to America vowed that a Republican majority would “honor families, traditional marriage, life and the private and faith-based organizations that form the core of our American values.”
Jordan says he will press for a floor vote to allow fellow conservatives to make clear their opposition to gay marriage. “We want to advance marriage. That’s the pledge. Our party should be all about defending marriage as it has always been defined,” he said.
Rep. Jordan is also a main player behind the push to pass the Pence Amendment, which would strip federal funding from family-planning outlets like Planned Parenthood that offer abortion services. As Ethan Rome of Health Care for America Now has noted, the Pence Amendment is another measure that will not create jobs.
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