May 25, 2018
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DC Board Of Elections Declares No Popular Vote On Gay Marriage Rights




Board Releases Memorandum Opinion and Order on Marriage Initiative of 2009

D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics Releases Memorandum Opinion and Order on Marriage Initiative of 2009



WASHINGTON, D.C. — The District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics today released a memorandum opinion on the “Marriage Initiative of 2009”, which would establish that “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in the District of Columbia.” A public hearing on the proposed initiative was held on October 26, 2009.


Under current law, the District recognizes as valid same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions. The Board concludes that that Marriage Initiative of 2009 would, if passed, strip same-sex couples who have entered into such marriages of rights afforded to them by that recognition.  Accordingly, the Board orders in its memorandum that the Initiative be received but not accepted under D.C. Code section 1-1001.16(b)(2), which prohibits the Board from accepting an initiative that authorizes discrimination prohibited under the District of Columbia Human Rights Act.


“We have considered all of the testimony presented to the Board and understand the desire to place this question on the ballot,” said Board Chairman Errol R. Arthur. “However, the laws of the District of Columbia preclude us from allowing this initiative to move forward.”


Media inquiries for the District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics may be directed to Alysoun McLaughlin at 202-727-2511 (direct),202-441-1121 (cell) or The memorandum opinion and order is available at


The District of Columbia Board of Elections & Ethics is the independent agency of the District government responsible for the administration of elections, ballot access and voter registration.





Contact:          Alysoun McLaughlin,

202-727-2511 (direct)/202-441-1121 (cell)


DC Board of Elections and Ethics 
441 4th Street, NW, Suite 250 North
Washington, DC 20001 
Tel: (202) 727-2525 | TTY: (202) 639-8916 | Tollfree: 1-866-DC-VOTES




STORY TAGS: dc, board, marriage, vote, same sex, gay, homosexual, washington, election, elections, Board of Elections and Ethics

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