City Desk

Congressmen Seek to Prevent Gay Marriage in D.C.

Two congressmen today announced that they will seek to prevent the District from recognizing or performing same-sex marriages.

Introducing the bill are Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio, pictured top) and Rep. Dan Boren (D-Okla., bottom). It's important to note that the legislation would define marriage in the District as between a man and a woman. It is not a resolution specifically disapproving the city's action this month to recognize gay marriages performed out of state.

Politico's Alex Isenstadt was at the press conference today:

“Nothing can be more important than the sanctity of our families,” Rep. Tom Price, chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, told reporters.

Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Dan Boren (D-Okla.) introduced the bill today, which aims to define marriage in D.C. as a “union of one man and one woman.”

“The family is truly the foundational institution of our nation, and marriage is its cornerstone,” Jordan said today in a statement.

Jordan unveiled the bill today in a press conference. He was joined by a group of pastors and religious leaders. It's not clear if there's any legislative vehicle for the anti-gay-marriage bill or whether Democrats would even allow a vote on the measure.

Isenstadt says the bill is supported by a "handful of House Republicans and two Democrats." One of those Republicans is our hamburger-loving friend Jason Chaffetz of Utah.

UPDATE, 4:35 P.M.: The bill is called the "D.C. Defense of Marriage Act."

Joining Jordan, Boren, Chaffetz, and Price at the presser today was none other than Bishop Harry Jackson, the pastor of a Maryland church who has been the most visible opponent of D.C. same-sex marriage.

A press release from Jordan's office says this is a "one-page bill" that states, “That in the District of Columbia, for all legal purposes, ‘marriage’ means the union of one man and one woman." The bill, according to the release, will have "30 bi-partisan co-sponsors."

The Democrats supporting the measure are Boren and Mike McIntyre of North Carolina.

UPDATE, 4:42 P.M.: Jeff Richardson, president of the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club, is first out with a statement, and it's a good one: "The residents of the District of Columbia are accustomed to some members of congress using the District as a political playground to earn points back in their home districts. But today, it is Bishop Harry Jackson and other DC, and metro DC, based clergy who participated in today’s press conference, that have shown total disrespect for District residents’ historical struggle for self-determination....Jackson has shown that he does not stand with and for the people of the District of Columbia, but I have confidence that District residents will continue to fight for our self-determination and equality for every resident of this great city.”

Richardson was not at the press conference and does not know who the other local clergy were. LL is trying to run that down now.

UPDATE, 4:50 P.M.: Also said to be in attendance: Rev. Anthony Evans, an associate minister at Mount Zion Baptist Church in Brightwood Park. He was also one of the ministers who stormed the John A. Wilson Building hallway immediately after the council vote.

UPDATE, 5:30 P.M.: Additional stories have been posted by AP, UPI, and Cleveland Plain Dealer, who notes that Jackson said, "I do not want my grandkids sitting in a classroom hearing about Heather has two mommies, or the prince and the prince grow up to marry and become the king and the king."

UPDATE, 5:50 P.M.: A response from Eleanor Holmes Norton's office: "[N]othing has changed, and we expect nothing to change, since the Congresswoman released her last statement," says spokesperson Sonsyrea Tate Montgomery. In that statement, Norton said, "I do not believe that a serious attempt to overturn the Council bill will be made or would be successful."

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  • Mike Riggs

    McIntyre and Boren are DINOs.

  • Mr T in DC

    This sucks - and Harry Jackson is really starting to get on my nerves.

  • Angry Al Gonzales

    Jordan & Boren both "look gay". My gadar is good, & I say they're gay.

  • TheAmazinJB

    The Council should make a declaration that all marriage is banned in their home states.

  • Jim

    Jesus. Why don't these sanctimonious windbags mind their own business and stick to what they were elected to do, represent their constituents? Last I checked, Ohio and Oklahoma didn't have voting precincts in the District. I have about had it with this crap.

  • Jeff

    We should specifically ban recognition of any marriages performed in those two congressional districts, lol. Ok, that'd be unconstitutional, but fun. And hey, Cheney didn't have any trouble trampling the constitution so why should we be so uptight about it, lol. The sad statistical fact of life is this, with 435 Members and 100 Senators and assorted Delegates, we're gonna get several handfuls of boobs and idiots who will want their 15 mins of shameless fame, pay no never mind to all that!

  • Wrack

    Sorry, Mr. Jackson -- your grandkids can already hear stories about gay people in the classroom. Ain't no law against it.

    Awwww, poor Mr. Jackson! Fossilized alive....

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  • Gadar

    I agree with gadar is ringing very loudly for those two congressman. In fact, I think I've seen them loitering around in the Union Station bathrooms...

  • Charlie

    Many conservatives don't really grasp the politics of this issue. An interesting thing several recent polls have shown is that Independents support same-sex marriage at a higher rate than Democrats. Independent voters provide the swing voters for elections -- it is not wise to take political positions that will lose you elections.

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  • George52

    I think they make a LOVELY couple.

  • Jack

    Ok, here goes nothing. I want everybody to think about the consequences of what abomination has taken place today. First off, if gay was a nationwide epidemic, our population would deplete and the human race would be obsolete. Also I think it's kinda disgusting that women with women and men with men thing. I'm sorry to tell you people, but gay is a desperate last resort for someone who can't find a special someone of the opposite sex. I'm sorry people but gay is not hereditary, and I can prove it scientifically. And I am a parent, so I don't want my child around this immature display of I couldn't get a piece, now I'm gay!!! Freakin people are rediculous and gays, you all know you're going to hell!!!