Image via WikipediaChief Justice Roberts, appointed by George W. Bush, has decided not to hear a challenge to DC's Marriage Equality Law. All I can say is "Wow!"
WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to block the District of Columbia's gay marriage law, freeing the city to issue its first marriage licenses to same-sex couples the following day.
Opponents of gay marriage in the nation's capital had asked Chief Justice John Roberts to stop the city from issuing the licenses on Wednesday while they appealed. They argued that D.C. voters should have been allowed to vote on the issue. Local courts have rejected the opponents' arguments.
"It has been the practice of the court to defer to the decisions of the courts of the District of Columbia on matters of exclusively local concern," said Roberts, writing for the court.
He also pointed out that Congress could have voted to stop the city government from putting the law into effect and didn't.On a personal note, Paul and I haven't discussed it yet, but before I can get gay married in DC I apparently have to go back to Puerto Rico to get a new birth certificate. MSNBC reported yesterday that they passed a law there that takes effect July 1st that nullifies all birth certificates prior to that date due to a huge amount of identity fraud involving illegal immigration from Latin America. Or we could get gay married before July 1st, then honeymoon in Puerto Rico while I try to get this worked out. Or I could do nothing and become an unmarried unperson. Would that mean I wouldn't have to pay taxes?
Opponents have also asked city courts to allow a voter referendum on gay marriage, and they "will have the right to challenge any adverse decision ... in this court at the appropriate time," Roberts said.
The Stand4MarriageDC Coalition, which tried to get a vote on the issue, said Tuesday it was disappointed in the court's ruling. It said it would continue to work for this effort among voters who believe in traditional marriage.
The city has said Wednesday probably will be the first day same-sex couples can apply for marriage licenses. Couples still will have to wait three full business days for their licenses before exchanging vows.
Same-sex marriages are also legal in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Iowa, Connecticut and Vermont.
Why does this effect me? My sister Jane and I were both born in Fajardo, PR when my Dad was stationed in there with the Coast Guard in the late 50's.