A D.C. appeals court on Thursday upheld the District of Columbia law allowing same-sex marriages, rejecting an effort by opponents to put the issue before city voters.
In a 5-4 decision, the D.C. Court of Appeals agreed with a D.C. Superior Court ruling and an earlier ruling by the city's Board of Elections and Ethics that said a referendum on same-sex marriage would violate the city's Human Rights Act.
"Because appellants' proposed initiative would authorize, or have the effect of authorizing, discrimination on a basis prohibited by the Human Rights Act, it was not a proper subject of initiative. Therefore, the Board acted lawfully in refusing to accept the initiative on that basis. Accordingly, the judgment of the Superior Court upholding the Board's determination is affirmed," the court said in its 54-page decision.
The rejection by the full appeals court means that the only legal option left to opponents is an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The same-sex marriage law was passed by the D.C. Council in December and signed into law by Mayor Adrian M. Fenty in January. Same-sex marriages began taking place in the District in March.
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