Court Throws Out Harry Jackson’s Marriage Lawsuit

The lawsuit filed last year by the Alliance Defense Fund on behalf of Bishop Harry Jackson and Stand4MarriageDC seeking a referendum on the District of Columbia’s marriage equality law has been rejected:

A D.C. Superior Court judge ruled Thursday that same-sex marriage opponents do not have a right to hold a public referendum on whether those marriages should be legal in the District.

The ruling, a major victory for gay rights activists, makes it more likely that the District will start allowing same-sex couples to marry in March.

The D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics has twice ruled that a referendum or initiative on same-sex marriage would violate a city law prohibiting a public vote on a matter covered by the Human Rights Act, which outlaws discrimination against gay men and lesbians and other minority groups.

But Bishop Harry Jackson, pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, appealed that ruling in superior court. Last week, 39 GOP congressmen filed a brief in support of Jackson’s appeal, arguing that the elections board overstepped its authority in denying a public vote on whether marriage should be defined as a being between a man and a woman.

In her ruling, Judge Judith N. Macaluso stated the board “properly rejected the proposed initiative” because of the Human Rights Act.