Connect with us

Local

GOP House members seek repeal of D.C. marriage law

Boehner says congressional relations with city improving

Published

on

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 specific date or specify whether the effort would be in the form of a freestanding 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 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.”

Continue Reading
Advertisement
2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Joseph A. Mustich, CT Justice of the Peace

    January 26, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    Jeez dude, find something better to do with your time. Onward to full marriage equality rights now….it’s the 21st century….
    Cheers, Joe Mustich, Officiant
    Red Studio Farm, Washington Green, CT USA

  2. Joe McCormack

    January 27, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    With the economic challenges our country is facing, this is a priority issue for some Republicans? I thought the Republican Party stood for fiscal restraint and less government interference in our lives. Does re-fighting the social justice battles of the past really advance that agenda in any rational way?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Local

Glenn Youngkin sworn in as Va. governor

Republican backed teacher who opposed trans student guidelines

Published

on

Republican Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin at his swearing in in Richmond, Va., on Jan. 15, 2022 (YouTube screenshot)

Republican Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin took office on Saturday amid concerns that he will seek to curtail LGBTQ rights in the state.

“Today we gather not as individuals, not as Republicans and Democrats,” said Youngkin after his swearing in. “Today we gather as Virginians.”

Former Gov. Ralph Northam and U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) are among those who attended the ceremony that took place at the State Capitol. Terry McAuliffe, who Youngkin defeated in the general election, did not attend because of a COVID-19 scare.

Youngkin during his campaign against McAuliffe expressed support for Tanner Cross, a gym teacher at a Leesburg elementary school who was suspended from his job after he spoke out against Virginia Department of Education guidelines that are designed to protect transgender and non-binary students. Youngkin has also said he does not support allowing trans children to play on sports teams that are consistent with their gender identity.

Youngkin on Thursday named Elizabeth Schultz, an anti-LGBTQ former member of the Fairfax County School Board, to his administration.

“We will remove politics from the classroom and focus on the essentials,” said Youngkin in his inaugural speech, without specifically mentioning LGBTQ students.

He added “parents should have a say in what is taught in schools.”

Youngkin has also expressed his opposition to marriage equality, but stressed it is “legally acceptable” in Virginia and would “support that” as governor.

Lieutenant Gov. Winsome Sears and Attorney General Jason Miyares also took office on Saturday.

Winsome, a former member of the Virginia House of Delegates, is the first woman and first female of color elected lieutenant governor. Miyares, a former House member whose mother was born in Cuba, is Virginia’s first Latino attorney general.

Youngkin in his inaugural speech noted “the people of Virginia just elected the most diverse leadership” in the state’s history. Youngkin’s first executive order ends “the use of” so-called “critical race theory” (which is not taught in Virginia schools) and other “divisive concepts” in Virginia’s public schools.

The General Assembly’s 2022 legislative session began on Wednesday.

Republicans control the House by a 52-48 margin. Democrats have a 21-19 edge in the Virginia Senate.

Continue Reading

Local

Va. school board names new chair who called for burning books

Kirk Twigg backed torching of materials with “sexually explicit” content

Published

on

(Screenshot via WUSA)

The Spotsylvania County School Board voted Monday to name Kirk Twigg, who advocated for burning books he deemed “sexually explicit” in November, as its new chair. 

His win gives conservatives the majority on the board as Republicans across the country continue an effort to ban books dealing with LGBTQ issues and racism from schools. 

Spotsylvania County has been involved in the controversy from the beginning, voting last year to remove books containing “sexually explicit” materials — only to rescind the order a week later.  

Monday’s board meeting, Twigg’s first as chair, would prove to be disorganized and, at times, unruly. 

Twigg’s first order of business was to call an unscheduled, closed-door session, which may have violated Virginia’s open meeting requirements. According to Virginia Code, a closed meeting cannot be called without a public body approving a motion that states the subject matter and the purpose of the meeting, as well as an applicable exemption from open meeting requirements.    

After the board returned from the closed-door session, Twigg said well-regarded Superintendent Dr. Scott Baker would be fired without cause. Baker had already announced he would be resigning at the end of the school year in December. 

After Baker decided to resign, a longtime Spotsylvania resident penned a letter in the Free Lance-Star, calling him “the finest superintendent, by far.”

“Dr. Baker is trusted and respected by parents, students and employees of Spotsylvania Schools; and he never lost sight of his mission for good reason,” it read. “He did so despite the noise and disruption from those few board members dedicated to bringing political disruption and dissidence into our public educational system. Shame on the few.”

As Twigg made the announcement, another member of the board interrupted him, saying: “Um, Mr. Twigg, no he is not. You need to make a motion — there needs to be a motion and a vote.”

Board members continued to speak over each other as conservative members attempted a vote. But Board Member Nicole Cole told the chairman she had comments. 

“I believe that the board members who have lodged this termination owe our citizens and our students of Spotsylvania County a justification for firing Dr. Baker,” said Cole. “You have not stated any justification or ability to fill the position. How is this good for the students, the children of Spotsylvania? How does this make sense?”

In a rebuke of the chaotic meeting, she added that Twigg “couldn’t even properly chair a meeting.”

After approximately 7 minutes of heated discussion where members from both sides got noticeably frustrated, the board voted 4-3 to fire Baker. 

Twigg, Lisa Phelps, April Gillespie and Rabih Abuismail, who also advocated for burning books, voted in favor. 

The Free Lance-Star reported that Baker was escorted from the building before the board returned from the second closed-door meeting. 

An emergency meeting has been scheduled for Friday to name an interim superintendent.

“It’s just very sad to hear that a superintendent who has been fully engaged in this community for 10 years is just let go with no rhyme or reason,” said Board Member Dawn Shelley, while noting Baker’s accomplishments. 

Continue Reading

Local

Melissa Etheridge to host Heather Mizeur fundraiser

Virtual event to take place on Tuesday

Published

on

Heather Mizeur, left, with Melissa Etheridge. (Photo courtesy of Heather Mizeur)

Singer Melissa Etheridge next week will hold a virtual fundraiser for Heather Mizeur’s congressional campaign.

The fundraiser will take place on Tuesday at 8 p.m. with tickets starting at $50. Supporters who donate at least $250 will be able to speak with Etheridge and Mizeur in a private Zoom room.

Mizeur, a former member of the Maryland House of Delegates who lives on the Eastern Shore with her wife, is running against anti-LGBTQ Republican Congressman Andy Harris in Maryland’s 1st Congressional District. Mizeur ran for Maryland governor in 2014.

Mizeur on Thursday noted to the Washington Blade that her congressional campaign has raised more than $1 million.

“It’s going really, really great,” said Mizeur.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us @washblade

Sign Up for Blade eBlasts

Popular