Yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a last-ditch legal challenge to marriage equality in the District of Columbia and exposed as hypocritical posturing the claims by Bishop Harry Jackson and his Religious Right allies to be representing the interests of DC voters.
DC Marriage Foes’ Voting-Rights Hypocrisy Exposed
Throughout the past year’s legal challenges to DC’s marriage equality law, Jackson and his allies have argued that District voters have a civil right to vote on the city’s new marriage equality law, in spite of consistent legal opinions and court rulings that such a vote would violate the city’s Human Rights Act by putting civil rights to a vote.
But when the conservative U.S. Supreme Court declined to consider the clergy’s latest request, the response of one local advocate was telling. Rev. Anthony Evans called the Supreme Court’s action “a travesty of justice:”
“This law was forced down the church’s throat and what the Supreme Court has set up is the greatest civil war between the church and the gay community,” Evans said. “And let me just state for the record, we don’t want that fight. We love our gay brothers and sisters. But if the Supreme Court is not going to acknowledge the fact that we have a right as religious people to have a say-so in the framework of religious ethics for our culture and society, then we reject the Supreme Court on this issue.”
Evans “civil war” rhetoric seems particularly poorly chosen at a moment when Americans of all political persuasions are looking for more civility in political rhetoric, not to mention his Tea-Party-on-steroids declaration that he “rejects” the U.S. Supreme Court .
But what really exposes as fraudulent the claims by marriage foes to be waging a civil rights struggle on behalf of DC voters is Evans’ bragging that “he and others opposed to the marriage law lobbied GOP leaders on the Hill to strip congressional delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) of her voting privileges on the House floor.” Evans said his working with House Republicans to revoke even the limited floor voting privileges of DC’s congressional delegate was “punishment for her wholehearted support of same-sex marriage.”
Of course, national Religious Right groups made it clear months ago that they don’t really care about the second-class-citizen status of DC residents when they said that city officials’ support for marriage equality and the Human Rights Act is proof that the District doesn’t deserve self-determination.