Reps. Michele Bachmann and John Kline joined with other Republicans in a lawsuit last week to force the District of Columbia to put same-sex marriage on the ballot. A D.C. Superior Court judge dismissed their case on Thursday.

“Today’s decision affirms the District’s effort to make our city open and inclusive,” said D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty.

From the Minnesota Independent:

The District argued that a referendum on marriage would violate its non-discrimination laws, and a D.C. Superior Court agreed (PDF), citing among precedents a 2005 case in Minneapolis where citizens petitioned to hold a vote on medical marijuana. A Minnesota judge denied the referendum because making medical marijuana legal in Minneapolis would violate state law.

Judge Judith N. Macaluso wrote that since same-sex marriages performed outside the District were valid inside Washington, D.C., a same-sex marriage ban would “ostracize a disfavored minority in violation of District of Columbia law.”

“If enacted, the initiative would deprive only same-sex individuals of the legal status, rights, and privileges they enjoy as married persons,” wrote the judge. “Such an initiative patently ‘authorizes or would have the effect of authorizing discrimination based upon. . . actual or perceived . . . sexual orientation [or] gender identity.’”

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Andy Birkey
Andy Birkey has written for a number of Minnesota and national publications. He founded Eleventh Avenue South which ran from 2002-2011, wrote for the Minnesota Independent from 2006-2011, the American Independent from 2010-2013. His writing has appeared in The Advocate, The Star Tribune, The Huffington Post, Salon, Cagle News Service, Twin Cities Daily Planet, TheUptake, and much more. His writing on LGBT issues, the religious right and social justice has won awards including Best Beat Reporting by the Online News Association, Best Series by the Minnesota chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and an honorable mention by the Sex-Positive Journalism awards.


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