The DC Catholic Conference issued a statement today on the rejection by the Board of Elections on a Marriage Referendum. Such a vote would put the issue before the voters of the District of Columbia so that their voice could be heard in this matter. Here follows the Statement followed by a comment by yours truly in red.
DC Catholic Conference Statement on DC Marriage Referendum Rejection
The residents of the District of Columbia deserve to be heard, particularly on an issue as important as redefining marriage. Last month, the District of Columbia City Council voted to recognize same-sex marriages in the nation’s capital in an amendment process that prevented constituents from having a voice.
Today’s announcement by the DC Board of Elections and Ethics to deny a referendum on this issue has once again disenfranchised the residents of our city. The DC Catholic Conference is deeply disappointed by the decision to deny voters a voice.
Civil governments have recognized marriage throughout time as between a man and woman because of its unique purpose: to form a stable unit where children are created and raised with the complementary gifts of father and mother. This stability for children in turn forms a stable foundation for society.
As part of an organization that serves thousands of children and families throughout this city, it would be our hope that residents be given an opportunity to be heard on an issue with widespread implications for children and families. The DC Catholic Conference will continue to strongly advocate for the long-standing and proper definition of marriage as the union between one man and one woman.
The DC Catholic Conference represents the public policy interests of the Archdiocese of Washington on issues affecting the District of Columbia.
This is a second blow to the the ability of citizens to express their views in this matter. As the Statement above notes, last month the DC Council railroaded this measure through and refused to allow citizens to testify in a significant matter before the City Council. Now the DC Board of elections has once again refused the general populace a chance to be heard. Some will argue that we cannot simply run everything by plebiscite. This is true but this issue impacts on the most basic elements of any nation or civilzation: marriage and the family. This is not simply a referendum on which contractor to choose to pave the raods. This is about marriage and the family.
Advocates of the “new morality” will likely cheer this decision but they should examine their cheerfulness. They have long marched under the banners of tolerance and freedom. Now many of them wish merely to impose their views by judicial fiat and will not tolerate dissent or even discussion. Whatever the motives of the members of the Board elections were I do not know. But no one should cheer a silencing of the voice of the people in this matter whether it is by refusing to hold hearings or refusing a referendum.