As we noted yesterday, the Washington D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics has ruled that the ballot initiative being pushed by Harry Jackson and company seeking to prevent marriage equality in the district would not be placed on the ballot.
Not surprisingly, Religious Right groups are not happy and are saying that the decision only proves that the District doesn’t deserve voting representation in Congress:
Wendy Wright, President of Concerned Women for America, said, “The D.C. Council reeks of rank hypocrisy. For years they have demanded that D.C. citizens should have the right to vote for congressional representation, which is in direct contradiction to the Constitution. Yet now they are denying D.C. citizens the right to vote on marriage, an institution so fundamental to America’s well-being that territories were not allowed to become states unless they kept marriage between one man and one woman.
“D.C. officials are proving, once again, why they need congressional oversight. They need to be reminded that citizens are not serfs.”
The Family Research Council made the same point:
While the House is deciding whether or not to give the District of Columbia more autonomy, the city is bent on denying the same freedom to residents. Yesterday, the D.C. Board of Elections refused to let voters decide the fate of same-sex “marriage” by denying the petition of Stand4MarriageDC to put an initiative on the ballot. The Board, which has just two members, said that Bishop Harry Jackson’s Marriage Initiative “authorizes discrimination.” In the end, the only real discrimination is what this Board is practicing against 399,127 registered voters who have a fundamental right to decide this issue. If the District can’t be trusted to enforce the U.S. Constitution–housed within its own city limits–then Congress should be suspicious of the authority D.C. already has- not consider offering it more.
Do you suppose that if the D.C. Board of Elections had put the initiative on the ballot, these groups would suddenly support efforts to implement congressional representation for the District? Not likely.
Furthermore, aren’t they basically saying that because D.C. voters won’t be allowed to vote on this issue, then they shouldn’t be allowed to have votes in Congress? If they are so concerned about giving D.C. voters the power to decide issues for themselves, then why are they saying that those same voters shouldn’t have a right to representation in Congress, considering that the current lack of representation means that D.C. voters are essentially being treated like “serfs”?