Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Chief Justice Refuses To Stay Effectiveness of D.C. Same-Sex Marriage Law

U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts has refused to grant a stay to prevent the District of Columbia’s Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Amendment Act from taking effect today. In an in chambers opinion in Jackson v. District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics, (Sup. Ct., March 2, 2010), the Chief Justice said that it has been the practice of the Court to defer to defer to the decisions of the courts of the District of Columbia on matters of exclusively local concern. Congress has chosen not to override the D.C. statute, and petitioners can raise many of the same arguments in their pending litigation attempting to get an initiative on the ballot to repeal the law that permits same-sex marriage. AP reports on the decision, saying that while couples may apply for licenses beginning today, there is a 3-day waiting period before they get the licenses and can actually be married. (See prior related posting.) [Thanks to Alliance Alert for the lead.]