US Supreme Court Declines Appeal on Right to Vote

Catholic Group Warns Against Violating Rights of Children

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WASHINGTON, D.C., JAN. 19, 2011 (Zenit.org).- The U.S. Supreme Court declined to consider an appeal regarding the right of citizens living in Washington, D.C. to vote on the legal definition of marriage. 

William May, chairman of Catholics for the Common Good, called it “shocking” that the court “did not accept the appeal of District of Columbia citizens who were deprived of their right to vote.” 

“The court’s decision effectively upheld the finding of the Washington Human Rights Commission that it would be discriminatory to even give citizens a choice to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman,” he stated. 

Last July, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld the decision of the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics to keep residents from voting on the legal definition of marriage. 

However, the D.C. Charter, the constitution for the capitol city, guarantees citizens the right to initiate and vote on any legislation except for “laws appropriating funds.” 

Thus, the case Jackson v. District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics (known as Jackson II) was brought to the Supreme Court. 

Austin Nimocks, Alliance Defense Fund senior legal counsel, stated, “In America, we respect the right to vote.” 

He continued: “That right is explicitly protected by the D.C. Charter, but the government has succeeded for now in suppressing the voice of D.C. citizens 

“We had hoped the U.S. Supreme Court would restore this guaranteed right in the district.” 

Unwarranted 

He added, “The four dissenting judges in the D.C. Court of Appeals decision were correct that the D.C. council ‘exceeded its authority’ when it imposed an unwarranted limitation on the citizens’ right to vote.” 

May stated: “What many people do not seem to realize is the real issue at play here has little to do with homosexuality or ‘gay’ lifestyles. 

“The question is whether marriage is merely a committed relationship for the private interests of adults, the definition implicit in same-sex ‘marriage,’ or whether it unites a man and a woman with each other and any children that come from their union.” 

“The consequences of changing the definition of marriage have broad ramifications for how the value of marriage to children and society is perceived and will affect decisions people make about marriage in their own lives,” he asserted. 

“Already,” May reported, “41% of children born today are deprived of a mother and father who have first chosen to make themselves irreplaceable to each through marriage.” 

He concluded, “This is a human tragedy and a violation of the rights of the child.”

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