Metro Weekly

Utah’s annoying Rep. Chaffetz introduces “symbolic” anti-gay bill – a flailing attack on DC marriage, home rule

”But with the Democrats controlling the House, the Senate and the presidency, I can’t imagine that this would make it through the process … [the bill is] more symbollic than it is realistic…. They’re not going to call up anything that’s going to allow this to be heard. I think they’re very clear about that, because they’re afraid of a vote. They’re afraid of the public.”

Jason Chaffetz, the freshman US Representative from Utah, who is trying to use his position as the ranking Republican on a committee that oversees operations within the District of Columbia. The conservative House Member has repeatedly said he will take up the cause of a small band of religious extremists from around the District who have tried again and again to thwart the near-unanimous decision, by DC’s publicly elected City Council, to legalize same-sex marriage. Chaffetz and his like-minded associates are trying to force the city government to hold a referendum that would allow voters to overturn the recently won rights of gay men and lesbians to share in marriage equality. (Desert News)

The DC Council, the Board of Elections, the Attorney General, and the Superior Court have already said that Chaffetz’s proposal of a referendum is designed to circumvent the established purpose of the city’s human rights charter. The city’s governmental agencies have basically concluded that it is not legal to put the civil rights of a minority up for public vote when the intention is to punish the minority simply because the majority is biased against them without presentation of just cause or legal merit. The city held extensive hearings on the matter and the vast majority of the marriage bill’s opponents based their case on two topics: 1) Their interpretation of the Christian bible, 2) A ridiculous belief that human procreation will somehow come to a halt if same-sex couples legally commit to one another. Unfortunately, in Maine, a petition was allowed to proceed with a referendum; and voters in that state overturned gay marriage this past November. California did the same a year earlier — both by fairly slim margins, and both resulting in extreme discontent for those affected and their supporters. A Federal court in California is currently hearing arguments against the legitimacy of Proposition 8, that state’s infamous anti-gay marriage referendum.

JD Uy has been a Metro Weekly webmaster, distribution manager, blogger and videographer since 2002.