Dear Friends of Marriage,
I need your help today. The Senate is expected to vote as early as this afternoon on the DC Marriage Referendum.
For weeks, we've been working to get a vote on the DC Marriage Referendum. And Senator Bob Bennett has championed the cause -- pushing for a floor vote that will put the entire Senate on record on marriage. We have just a short window of time. Please take action now!
The Bennett amendment will be offered as amendment #3568 to the health care reconciliation package during the "vote-o-rama" period expected to begin this afternoon. During the reconciliation vote-o-rama, senators have wide latitude to introduce amendments. Each amendment receives 2 minutes of debate (1 minute per side) and then a vote. This process can go on for several days, until no senator rises to offer further amendment. We are told that GOP leadership will prioritize the Bennett amendment for action this afternoon or tomorrow.
Your action is critical today. Click here to take action! Although passage of the Bennett amendment is unlikely given the fact that Democratic leadership is committed to passing the reconciliation bill with few or no changes, this is an important opportunity to put every Senator on record with respect to marriage.
The DC Charter guarantees District residents the right to vote on important matters by referendum or initiative. The District Council has acted repeatedly to limit the people's constitutional right to referendum and initiative, first creating a statutory rule that referenda and initiatives may not be brought to a vote if they would "authorize discrimination" under the District Human Rights Act, and then concluding that the marriage initiative is discriminatory.
Clearly marriage is not discriminatory - in fact DC law did not even permit same-sex marriage at the time the first initiative measure was filed to maintain the status quo. But even if the marriage referendum did violate the Human Rights Act, the Council cannot simply adopt ordinances that revoke rights guaranteed by the Charter. The people of the District are guaranteed the right to vote on marriage - a right that has been repeatedly trampled by the DC Council.
The issue before the Congress is not even whether same-sex marriage should be legalized in the District, but whether the Home Rule Charter should be enforced, guaranteeing the people of the District their right to decide the issue for themselves, just as voters in 31 states have similarly done. This is exactly the type of oversight Congress should be doing in the District - reining in an out-of-control District Council.
After sending your emails, please take a moment to forward this message to friends and family. Our most important asset in this fight is the number of Americans all across the country who are determined to protect marriage! Help get the word out by sending this email to three friends today!
Everything moves fast in vote-o-rama. But our Senators need to know that we are watching, and will remember in November, how they vote on the DC Marriage Referendum.
National Organization for Marriage
20 Nassau Street, Suite 242
Princeton, NJ 08542