A Republican congressman from Utah introduced a resolution of disapproval Wednesday to overturn D.C.’s same-sex marriage bill, which is undergoing a required congressional review of 30 legislative days.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said he expects the Democratic controlled Congress to block his resolution, but believes it would serve as a “symbolic” gesture for lawmakers who oppose gay marriage.
“I wish it would come up for a vote because I think traditional marriage would win,” he told the Desert News of Salt Lake City. “But with the Democrats controlling the House, the Senate and the presidency, I can’t imagine that this would make it through the process.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said she and House Democratic leaders favor allowing D.C. to pass its own laws without congressional interference. A Pelosi spokesperson said the speaker would take steps to prevent Chaffetz’s resolution from reaching the House floor for a vote.
Under the District’s Home Rule Charter, disapproval resolutions must be approved in separate votes in the House and Senate and signed by the president before the end of the congressoional review of a D.C. bill. Gay Democratic activists have said the White House has put out the world that President Obama would not sign such a resolution in the unlikely case that it reaches his desk.
Congressional observers expect the D.C. same-sex marriage bill to become law in the first week of March, when the congressional review is scheduled to be completed.
Chaffetz introduced his resolution on the same day the D.C. Board of Elections & Ethics held a public hearing on a proposed voter referendum seeking to ban same-sex marriage in the city. Most political observers expect the board to disqualify the referendum on grounds that the city’s election law prohibits initiatives or referenda that would violate the city’s Human Rights Act. The act bans discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.