In September 2009, opponents of same-sex marriage filed with the D.C. Board of Elections a proposed ballot initiative providing that “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in the District of Columbia.” The Board rejected the initiative on the ground that it would authorize discrimination prohibited by the D.C. Human Rights Act.
The sponsors challenged that decision in D.C. Superior Court, arguing that it would not authorize discrimination prohibited by the Human Rights Act, and even if it did, the D.C. Home Rule Charter contained no such a limitation on the right of initiative. In January 2010, the court granted summary judgment in the Board’s favor, and the sponsors appealed. As part of the Campaign for All DC Families, we joined in filing an amicus brief in the Court of Appeals in March 2010 supporting the Board of Elections’ decision.
In July 2010, the D.C. Court of Appeals ruled that the initiative would authorize discrimination prohibited by the Human Rights Act, and that the law prohibiting such initiatives did not offend the Home Rule Charter. The sponsors sought Supreme Court review, unsuccessfully.