Civil rights triumphed over another failed attack from advocates of discrimination when the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics rejected a proposed referendum to put the rights of a minority up for a vote.
The proposed effort to limit the rights of District residents was brought by Stand For Marriage and Maryland pastor, Bishop Harry Jackson. The BOEE denied the referendum as a violation of the Human Rights Act of the District of Columbia.
“Equality should never be up for debate or denied on a ballot,” said D.C. resident Michael Crawford, Co-chair of D.C. for Marriage. “We only want what every other American already has – the right to marry the person we love.”
Rev. Cedric Harmon, a D.C. resident and a representative of D.C. Clergy United for Marriage Equality, a group of nearly 200 Washington, D.C. faith leaders representing all eight wards of the District and a variety of religious faiths added the following statement in support of the BOEE’s decision:
“It is shameful when religious leaders fail to uphold the Christian teachings of our faith by trying to institutionalize a second-class citizenship on our neighbors. People of faith have worked for generations to achieve social justice for all people – regardless of race, creed, class, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. We serve our entire flock, and there is no justification under God that we should discriminate against any of God’s children.
“The District of Columbia has not voted on the civil rights of a minority since the Civil War, when a majority prevented freed male slaves from gaining the right to vote. Today, the Board of Elections and Ethics reminded us that human rights should never be put to a vote. As members of the clergy who support equal rights for all citizens, and who struggle to achieve social justice in the District of Columbia, we applaud the BOEE for standing up for human rights in the face of discrimination.”