A new bill on Capitol Hill aims to limit marriage in the District of Columbia between one man and one woman, setting up a possible challenge to a recent gay rights victory.
Earlier this month, the D.C. City Council overwhelmingly approved by 12-1 the D.C. Marriage Equality Amendment which recognizes same-sex marriages from other states.
It was a huge victory for supporters of gay marriage and a huge setback for opponents, who now see it as a rallying cry in the fight for traditional marriage.
Lawmakers, dozens of pastors and civic leaders joined on Capitol Hill Thursday to announce the introduction of the D.C. Defense of Marriage Act. The bill states "That in the District of Columbia, for all legal purposes, marriage means the union of one man and one woman."
Supporters of traditional marriage say they see the pending law in the District as something that the majority of Americans do not support.
"This is our nation's capital. The greatest nation in history. The greatest capital in history," said Rep. Jim Jordan. "This is our capital city that belongs to the entire country and the residents here, with the strong support of the clergy and pastors and Christian community, understand this is a fight we have to wage into."
"I do want my grandkids to be sitting in a classroom hearing about Heather has two mommies or the prince and the prince grow up to marry and become the king and king. There has to be a stopping point," said Bishop Harry Jackson of Stand 4 Marriage.
More than 100 pastors signed and delivered a letter urging D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty not to sign the bill, but he's already come out in favor of it. The DC Defense of Marriage Act asserts Congress's right to weigh in on any new law in the District of Columbia according to Home Rule.
Sponsors believe they'll gather enough public support to move forward with this legislation, but D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton has said that she does not believe that any serious attempt to overturn the council bill will be successful.