January 27, 2011 | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
GOP House members seek repeal of D.C. marriage

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) told the Hill newspaper Tuesday that he’s certain that a group of conservative House Republicans will introduce legislation to overturn D.C.’s same-sex marriage law.

Jordan, who serves as chair of the conservative Republican Study Committee, said the committee would push for a vote on repeal of the D.C. marriage law in the 112th Congress. He did not give a date or specify whether the effort would be in the form of a free-standing bill or an amendment to the D.C. appropriations bill.

“I think the RSC will push for it, and I’m certainly strongly for it,” he told the Hill.”I don’t know if we’ve made a decision if I’ll do it or let another member do it, but I’m 100 percent for it.”

Jordan was the lead sponsor in the 111th Congress for the D.C. Defense of Marriage Act, which called for defining marriage in the District of Columbia as a union only between a man and a woman.

That measure, which received 53-co-sponsors last year, is expected to pull in significantly more co-sponsors this year under the GOP-controlled House.

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) touched on the subject of congressional intervention in D.C. affairs in a news conference Wednesday but did not mention the D.C. same-sex marriage issue.

When asked to respond to critics who say Republicans advocate for state and local control everywhere but D.C., Boehner said, “This is a federal city. Under the constitution the relationship between the federal government and the D.C. government has been a road that’s twisted in many different ways.”

He added, “But I think during the past 10 to 15 years there’s been a pretty healthy relationship between the city and the federal government.”

D.C. Congressional Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Democrat, said GOP House members have introduced bills to ban same-sex marriage in the city every year for the past several years and an effort to do so again this year would not surprise her.

But she said she was hopeful that moderate Republicans would join Democrats in blocking such a proposal in the House. She said the Democratic- controlled Senate would be expected to kill such a measure if it clears the House.

“I can tell you that I’ve had a good conversation with an important Republican who’s not interested,” she said, in discussing an expected bill or amendment to overturn D.C.’s same-sex marriage law.

“That doesn’t mean it won’t happen,” she said. “But there are Republicans here who would not like to get all mixed up with social issues. And I was very pleased with this conversation I had because it’s an important Republican operator.”

She said she could not identify the Republican because doing so would jeopardize future conversations with the lawmaker.

Clarke Cooper, executive director of the national gay GOP group Log Cabin Republicans, and Robert Kabel, the openly gay chair of the D.C. Republican Committee, released separate statements urging Jordan not to pursue legislation to repeal the District’s marriage law.

“Just two months ago, Congressman Jordan said to me, ‘Democrats are the party of government; we are the party of principle,’” Cooper said in his statement. “Today I am calling upon him to remember the core Republican principle that respects local government and states’ rights over interference from federal lawmakers.”

Kabel released a joint letter that he and Patrick Mara, a member of the D.C. Republican Committee and a D.C. City Council candidate, sent to Jordan calling on him not to interfere in D.C. affairs.

“As someone who has knocked on thousands of doors and spoken with countless families, marriage equality is an issue that must be preserved and protected,” Mara stated in the letter.

Kabel told Jordan in the letter that Republicans “saw tremendous wins this past November because they stuck with fiscal issues that matter to many Americans.” He called on the Republican Study Committee to reconsider its decision to push for repeal of the D.C. gay marriage law and “work with us on improving our city.”

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

11 Comments
  • Tell me again that they’re just trying to protect democracy.

  • Maybe the LGBT communities need a “Day of Rage” too, if this is repealed?

  • Was this really a surprise to anyone? All christian conservatives live for is opposing anything that benefits gay Americans and their puppet GOP party is full of them while others just do as they are told! Log cabin is naive to think the GOP leadership actually cares about integrity when they have NEVER shown any! How long before they pursue yet again a Federal Constitutional Amendment against marriage equality to boot?! The GOP platform specifically opposes gay marriage. How can Log Cabin expect any other course of action? This fight will be a long, nasty and drawn out one for years to come. Wake up!

    Don’t get complacent or stupid enough to think otherwise. You may need another generation or two before a majority supports marriage equality. That’s why christian conservatives are pushing so hard against it now. To make it as difficult as possible to implement before majority opinion turns against them!

  • No surprise here that this hateful move is from republicans. How can Log Cabin and GOProud have any credibility with such repeated attacks against us coming from the GOP?

    • Why is it that you can’t understand the obvious benefit of having gay people and gay supporters in both parties? Gay Democrats have no plan B for those times when they’re not in control, and look how precious little was done during four years of Democratic Congressional control and two years with Mr. Obama. If it were not for Log Cabin’s lobbying in the Senate, those 8 Republican Senators would not have been on board to repeal DADT. It’s time for gay Democrats to have a long-term strategy other than simply to be in the back pocket of Democrats.

      • David – what foolishness. The title of the article speaks volumes. It’s time to realize the obvious. While dems certainly could have done much more, the GOP would gladly deny us basic civil rights and criminalize our behavior. Read their national platform, or if you can stomach it, read the Texas GOP platform regarding gay issues.

  • Despite what the GOP members said during the election, they have been and always will be against gay & lesbian people, and they never intended to focus on fiscal issues. It was always about the social issues for them, and I hope the American people will finally wake up to that fact. This goes double for gay Republican organizations like Log Cabin and GOProud, because they are truly deluding themselves.

  • They say one thing and do another. Suprise! I am tired of having to not only fight for equality but to have to fight to keep it. We were married in DC last may. I will fight to keep my marriage and am fighting for my friends in Maryland. Why don’t we come up with something to take away from them? Something real, not some goofy news reel stuff. Oh! DC is still on the map, still moving along as if NOTHING ever happened. So I guess gay marriage did not distroy it.

  • What we should all be fighting is the Money Flow. Specifically from Tax-Exempt Mormons, Catholics, Southern Baptists, Evangelicals…

    What exactly is the IRS Tax Code on this issue? I recently heard some discussion on this saying approximately that these corporations can spend up to 49% of their proceeds on causes other than their Stated Mission?

    Why is it that entities can collect Tax-Exempt money, and then turn around and cart it around nationwide to disproportionately influence State Political Agendas the way NOM does?

    Of course, this would be contrary to the methodologies of the GOP as well.

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